Demographic decline is ‘existential bet for our future,’ says Mitsotakis

Demographic decline is ‘existential bet for our future,’ says Mitsotakis

Greece’s demographic decline is an “existential bet for our future” that “must not become the status quo,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has told a conference on the population situation in the country.

He told the “Demographics 2023: Time for Action” conference that the Hellenic Statistical Authority had recently sounded the loudest alarm about the demographic trends in Greece, after the country recorded just one birth for every two deaths in 2022, in an escalation of a negative demographic balance that has been taking place for half a century.

“The pandemic certainly played its role, but we have to look at the long-term trends and these are extremely worrying,” the premier said.

While demographic decline is a problem that concerns the West and almost all developed societies, and is connected to the modern way of life, “in Greece, however, there are also some special conditions,” he said. “The truth is that today our people are among the most elderly in Europe. In the last five years, Greek women aged 20-40 have decreased by 150,000 as a result of a decline in births that actually started in the 1980s.”

He said that the population decline is not manifested equally throughout the country. “It has peaks in specific areas and this means that national strategies are not sufficient and that specific local provisions are also needed, with the overall demographic collapse literally becoming an existential bet for our future.”

He asked what was the point of Greece having left the financial crisis behind for good, experienced very high growth rates compared to other European countries, reduced unemployment and its population having disposable income “if at the same time the shadow of decline spreads over the Greek women and men of the future.”

The establishment of the Ministry of Social Cohesion and Family was a response to that challenge, he said.

He also spoke about the need to harmonise professional life with family life, taking care of public health so that the elderly remain active and creating many good jobs for young people with the goal of being able to build their lives in their country with good prospects. [AMNA]

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