The Greek economy is expected to grow more than 7 percent this year and more than 5 percent in 2021, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview with the Washington Post, published Wednesday.
“Overall, it is recovering remarkably. I expect the growth rate to exceed 7 percent in 2021 and to exceed 5 percent in 2022. . . .My aim is to make Greece the success story of the euro zone. Unemployment is coming down. Young Greeks are returning to Greece for the first time. The future is bright,” he told the paper, responding to how the Greek economy is faring amid the pandemic.
This number is above the 6.9% announced by Finance Minister Christos Staikouras a week ago, which itself is an upward revision of a 6.1% forecast included in the draft budget submitted to parliament in October.
Asked about US investments in Greece from companies like Microsoft, Tesla and Amazon, Mitsotakis said the Amazon deal “is not public yet” and that “Microsoft is probably the most important because they are investing heavily in data centers.”
Discussing the Covid-19 pandemic in Greece, he said authorities are seeing “a flare up” now while the peak is expected by mid-December.
On relations with Turkey, the prime minister reiterated “if Turkey stops its aggressive behavior in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean, there is room to sit down and sort out our differences.”
Asked about Greece getting “bad publicity” for forcing migrant boats back to Turkey, Mitsotakis rejected the claim. “I don’t think we are getting terrible publicity. . . . I find it difficult that people point the finger at Greece while they’re not pointing the finger at Turkey, a country that is engaging in gross violations of human rights.”
Asked about the new law criminalising the publication of “fake news” which makes the proprietor and the journalist both liable, he said his government “have tried to limit what can be published so ‘fake news’ stories, especially related to public health, are not given too much exposure,” and that the law “is very measured and very valid.”
Mitsotakis also said he expects to visit the US during the first half of 2022 for a meeting with President Joe Biden.