Tsipras points to drop in unemployment despite austerity

Tsipras points to drop in unemployment despite austerity

During a visit on Monday to the Labor Ministry, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pointed to an increase in wages and to a drop in unemployment in recent years despite the impact of austerity.

"My visit today may help us understand the difference between the supposed success story of the governments of New Democracy and PASOK and real success which leads to recovery which can be felt in people's daily lives," he said.

He expressed optimism that the drop in unemployment over the next few years would be at a rate of 2.5 percent annually, adding that the biggest positive development of late has been a drop in jobless figures and an increase in employment figures thanks to a major push by his government despite the prevailing conditions of fiscal asphyxiation.

State programs for the unemployed will help 120,000 jobless Greeks by the end of the year, he said. "When there is political will, you are not scared to clash with individuals with major political influence or even with systemic banks that refuse to pay fines," he said.

In a statement later on Monday, the main opposition New Democracy said Tsipras was "jubilating over lies and debris."

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