PM to promote reforms, investments on EU trips


Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is bracing for a flurry of activity with upcoming visits to Paris and Berlin where he is to promote a series of economic reforms and investment initiatives.

Mitsotakis is to meet this week with French President Emmanuel Macron and on August 29 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, visits that will be closely watched though they are not expected to yield any immediate concrete results.

The key goal is to create a positive climate among key European partners, and potential foreign investors, regarding the country’s prospects for a quick recovery and enduring stability.

A framework for boosting growth is to be set out in legislation to be brought before Parliament in the coming weeks along with another bill reducing taxes in line with Mitsotakis’ pre-election promises.

The growth bill is to provide clarifications as regards the use of land, simplify licensing procedures and offer incentives for would-be foreign investors, particularly for the tourism sector.

Meanwhile, the government aims to make good on promises to reduce income tax while also reducing taxes on corporate profits and dividends.

Mitsotakis is expected to present these reforms to his foreign interlocutors in a bid to show that his administration is serious about drawing much-needed investments to buoy the economy.

He is also expected to reassure them that the 3.5 percent primary surplus target for this year and next will be met while pressing for the target to be lowered from 2021.

Foreign diplomacy aside, Mitsotakis must also prepare for next month’s Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

According to sources, Mitsotakis aims to use TIF – traditionally where Greek premiers unveil economic policy and pledge handouts – to outline his plan for medium-term growth for Greece. Sources told Kathimerini that Mitsotakis wants to unveil a plan that looks beyond the short-term and that will “dislodge the country from mediocrity.”

The premier aims to explain how the country can start returning to growth and unveil his plan to boost medium and low incomes which have been particularly affected over the years of the financial crisis, the same sources said.