Greece: Concern but also optimism for the new year

The new year started with inflation remaining high and a new record for January being estimated. This forced the Greek government to take measures to stem the rise in prices and the financial blow to households and businesses. 

A number of measures have been announced such as an increase in the minimum wage, a subsidy on electricity bills, a reduction in real estate tax and an increase in repayment installments. The financial staff is working on another series of measures in order to shield the economy. 

In the field of economy there is optimism despite the difficulties mentioned above as 2021 closed with growth projected to exceed 8%. Also in 2022 the forecast gives growth close to 5%. The growth index boosts the economy and improves the country’s image in international markets by reducing lending rates. Unemployment, although it remains at a high rate of about 12.5%, continues to fall slowly but steadily in recent months. This is a sign that investments are being made and new jobs are being created. 

An important weapon for the recovery and stabilization of economic growth is the grants given by the European Union to all Member States through the program Next Generation EU. The program was aimed at repairing the damage caused by the pandemic crisis, restarting the economy and boosting private investment, preparing for and addressing Europe’s strategic challenges. The program was designed in 2021 but has a timetable until 2026. In addition to the pandemic crisis caused by the pandemic, the purpose of the European Union through NextGenerationEU is the green and digital transition. Each country should draw up a national plan with a breakdown of green investment spending and a digital transition. These projects will be evaluated by the European Commission. This is aimed at attracting new investment to the Member States of Europe. 

On the front of the pandemic now, unfortunately, the health indicators remain high, but a de-escalation is predicted from the end of February. Experts predict that at the end of the first trimester the cases can be reduced to a minimum as long as the vaccination and the observance of the sanitary measures continue. For this purpose, Greece has already purchased new antiviral drugs and new vaccines which have been approved by the European Medicines Agency. 

It is important to take all those measures to confirm the above predictions so that in the second quarter at the beginning of the tourist season there are the right conditions. Greece’s economy is based on tourism and a second successful tourist season will help maintain high levels of growth.