Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is to make his traditional speech to entrepreneurs at the Thessaloniki International Fair on Saturday morning and is expected to hint at possible relief for Greeks on low incomes.
The premier, who is to address businessmen in the morning and not in the traditional evening speech, will reportedly try to reassure entrepreneurs, and citizens in general, that Greece’s economy is improving, slowly but surely, and that no more austerity measures are on the cards.
Samaras is also expected to stress the importance of Greece clinching a primary surplus this year, as appears likely, as this will allow the government to offer some relief to lower-income Greeks. The premier had indicated in an interview last week that 70 percent of the primary surplus, if it is achieved, will go toward support for those on low pensions.
After his speech in the morning, the premier is to meet with entrepreneurs before his scheduled flight back to Athens in the early afternoon.
Some 4,000 police officers will be deployed in the northern city where labor unions and opposition politicians are planning to stage anti-austerity rallies.
The leader of the main leftist opposition SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, is due in Thessaloniki on Saturday too and is to meet at 12.30 p.m. with representatives from the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO), one of three state defense firms that face likely liquidation as part of the government’s commitments to the country’s troika of international creditors. Tsipras is expected to join a protest rally being organized by the country’s two main labor unions, GSEE and ADEDY, and which is to start at 6 p.m. on Saturday.