NEWS

Government sets out post-pandemic agenda

government-sets-out-post-pandemic-agenda

With the relaunch of almost all social and economic activities and with May statistics suggesting that vaccinations are progressing at a more satisfactory pace than ever before, the government is shifting its attention to other areas that are seen playing a pivotal role in the post-pandemic era.

This gradual change of agenda and the government’s drive behind the labor bill was apparent on Thursday in a TV spot, with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeting its central mantra: Power to workers. 

The wide range of reforms the government is pushing include bills on parental rights, pets and strays, and universities.

As for the economy, there is ample government optimism stemming from assessments that already in 2021, it has begun moving away from the sharp recession due to the pandemic to sharp growth. 

Tellingly, during Thursday’s media briefing, government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni referred to the forecast of the European Commission for growth rates of 4.1% in 2021 and 6% in 2022.

The same forecast anticipates a strong boost to the economy from the Recovery and Sustainability Plan and highlights the importance of opening up tourism. 

The government strongly believes that during the pandemic, it followed the best possible policy to fortify affected businesses and individuals to alleviate the recession. 

In comments to Kathimerini, government sources referred to a “safety net” that was spread over society to ensure its return to the path of recovery from the best possible point.

With regard to tourism, it would be no exaggeration to say that the outcome of this year’s tourism season will to a large extent determine the percentage of this year’s growth, but also the political landscape come September. With this in mind, the government is throwing all its weight behind the country’s traditional heavy industry, as well as ensuring safety standards are strictly observed as the total number of tourists in Greece will hinge on the health framework.

On the social front, the horrendous murder this week of a 20-year-old mother in Glyka Nera, near Athens, has brought to the fore the issue of security. 

The plan of Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis envisages the strengthening of regional police departments as well as changes in the penal code.

It is worth noting that the issue of security formed a key part of New Democracy’s election campaign.