NEWS

Mitsotakis: No holiday for reform push

mitsotakis-no-holiday-for-reform-push

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants to push through three reform bills, on education, supplementary pensions and police reform, as soon as possible, telling his ministers on Wednesday that “reforms do not go on holiday.”

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Mitsotakis expressed his conviction that the economy will rebound quickly from the pandemic, adding that he expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 3.6% in 2021 and an unheard-of 6.2% in 2022. Mitsotakis also forecast annual economic growth around 4% until 2025.

The prime minister said his optimistic outlook is based on four factors: lower taxation, rising savings and investments, positive forecasts on job creation, and the fact that the state is borrowing at historically low rates.

On education, Mitsotakis said it is time that schools escaped the rigid direction from the ministry, while insisting on assessing the performance of teachers, a contentious point with the unions.

The draft bill on education provides for supplementary training of teachers whose performance is judged unsatisfactory, but opposition parties are raising the specter of layoffs.

On supplementary pensions, employees will have greater choice in designing their own pension scheme, according to the Swedish model, Mitsotakis said.

The finances of Greece’s main pension system are still considered precarious, given the country’s low birth rate and previous pension regimes that allowed employees to take early retirement.

Mitsotakis also recapped the government’s legislative record in the almost two years since it was elected, in July 2019, noting that despite the pandemic and the state of emergency, 187 bills had passed Parliament.

“We continue at an even stronger pace,” he told his ministers.