Mitsotakis: With the new increase, the minimum wage will rise to over 800 euros

With the latest increase, the minimum wage will exceed 800 euros a month, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview on SKAI television on Tuesday morning, in which he explained that the government was striving to fight the high cost of living by raising salaries.
With the latest increase, the minimum wage will exceed 800 euros a month, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview on SKAI television on Tuesday morning, in which he explained that the government was striving to fight the high cost of living by raising salaries.

The prime minister also referred to those responsible for the recent phenomena of violence, saying they must be held to account, referring to the targeting of members of the LGBTQI community in Thessaloniki at the weekend. He noted that there had been "an overall mobilisation of society, which says that this not who we are."

"Responsibilities must be attributed, arrests have been made, we have a stricter anti-racist law...much more must also be done," he said.

The prime minister referred to the government's actions to prevent and crack down on bullying in schools, the presence of police in neighbourhoods and action taken against sports fan violence, while noting that crime statistics in recent years showed a gradual reduction in crime.

Questioned about the Tempi train crash and whether the trains were perhaps carrying substances that had never been revealed, or whether the crash site had been "filled in", the prime minister said:

"This is a very unpleasant discussion. I am obliged to reply. The last thing we want is for public dialogue to become a victim of fake news. The final word belongs to justice. It is only to be expected that the opposition will seek political gains but justice will provide the answers and it is significant that it sought the opinion of a second expert. To cover up what, exactly, I wonder...the ground had to be stabilised in order to possibly find people in the wreckage," he explained.

Mitsotakis expressed "sorrow and rage" at those talking of a bulldozing of the site, expressed his utmost respect for the families of the victims and repeated that he was waiting for the findings of the second expert and that only justice can provide answers regarding what happened.

"I know that all of this is without foundation. The fire department has said that all of these were operational actions. I am truly sorry. I am sorry that in this environment...political leaders are trying to build careers," he added, expressing conviction that justice will be swift.

The prime minister concluded by urging those who believed there was criminal liability on the part of political figures to seek an ad hoc parliamentary investigation on specific charges.

"At this time, the railway is as safe as it can be, while carrying the problems of decades that cannot be solved overnight," he said in response to questions.

Government addressing high cost of living by raising salaries

Mitsotakis said that the high cost of living was now the foremost problem facing Greek households, to which the government was replying by increasing salaries. He said the goal was for the average salary to reach 1500 euros a month and for the basic wage to be 950 euros per month by 2027. The prime minister noted that wages have already increased and that this is a structural answer, in addition to other measures to lower prices.

He pointed out that the latest measures have brought results with respect to detergents, infant formula and sundry other products, while violations incur fines that must be paid.

The prime minister ruled out an Easter benefit and also referred to the start of afternoon surgeries, which he said would be free, as well as improvements to infrastructure and other measures designed to improve healthcare.

In other parts of the interview, Mitsotakis referred to the law allowing the founding of non-state, non-profit university branches and pointed out that only Greece and Cuba "have a state monopoly on tertiary education," adding that the government had implemented a "choice of freedom" and will also proceed to change article 16 of the Constitution when this possible, which would allow even more to be done.

Regarding the upcoming European elections, Mitsotakis noted that this would be a vote on Greece's position in Europe during the next European cycle. "We are the party of Europe. We put Greece in Europe and we kept it there. The next European cycle will deal with many significant issues. Who will go to Brussels to negotiate?" he said.

Asked whether he was concerned about the far right, he noted that it "always had a distinct electoral presence with various party formations in our country," and said there was a difference between the "responsible patriot" and those "selling their patriotism without having specific policies to back it up."

Regarding relations with Turkiye, the prime minister pointed to the lack of violations in the past year and said that he intended to visit Ankara in May, noting that even if there was no agreement on the "major thorns" they could "agree to disagree in a civilised way", while adding that Greece will continue to strengthen its deterrent capability.

Talking about Fredi Beleri, he said that Athens will insist as there was no final ruling and noted that "this manner has affected Greek-Albanian relations." Questioned about the attack during his visit to Odesa, Mitsotakis said that he "had not understood exactly what happened" while repeating that Greece stands with Ukraine and that "no one can change borders through the use of force".

He expressed confidence that relations with the United States are "so strong that they will not be derailed", regardless of whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump win the upcoming US elections and concluded by expressing hope that Greek teams Olympiacos and Panathinaikos will be in the final four of the EuroLeague basketball championship.

tags: Economy Greece