Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sends the message that his government is unyielding in the face of tax injustice and the fight against tax evasion through the weekly report of the government’s work.
The prime minister speaks of an absolutely measured and balanced intervention, which “does not constitute additional taxation” and declares that “the money from the detection of tax evasion will return to society for better health, more spending on education, more effective public security and defense, greater support for young families”.
In addition, Mr. Mitsotakis presents the latest data from ELSTAT, according to which unemployment fell to 10% last September. “Greece is gradually becoming a fairer country with fewer inequalities for these two groups,” the prime minister said.
The following is the entire post of the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis on social media:
“I feel like November came too quickly this year – maybe because October felt more like summer than fall. So, first review of November, and it may seem that the time is passing quickly, but the government work is also progressing quickly. Or at least, this is the conclusion I hope those of you who read this post will come to.
I summarize today’s review, which includes: our effort to curb tax evasion, the increase in compensation for the “Neighborhood Babysitters” scheme, the fines for the unfair profiteering of multinational companies, the start of demolition of properties located on seafronts, beaches and forest lands, the strengthening of rural Thrace and the Democritus University by upgrading technical and professional education, the National Network of Advanced Care Units for the treatment of stroke patients, the Action Plan for Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, the digitization of six services of EL.AS., the progress in aid for flood victims, the strengthening of the National Crisis Management and Risk Management Mechanism and the upgrading of the National Aerial Search and Rescue Mechanism.
But I will start with a very brief reference to unemployment, as on Friday ELSTAT announced that in September unemployment fell to 10%. For comparison, in September 2022 unemployment was 12.1%, while in September 2019 it was 16.8%.
But allow me two more brief statistics. The first: Unemployment among those aged 15-24 fell to 19.4% from 34.2% last year (and 39.6% in 2019). This is the lowest unemployment rate for under-24s since 1998, since statistics have been available. And the second: Unemployment among women fell to 12.4% from 15.5% last year (and from 21.6% in 2019).
These are very encouraging results, as they show that unemployment among young people and women is decreasing rapidly. Greece is gradually becoming a fairer country with less inequality for these two groups.
I will now turn to a topic that has already been discussed a lot, namely our flagship intervention in the area of taxation of the self-employed. As I promised during the election campaign, the pre-election fee is being phased out while improving the tax compliance of freelancers. We are even bringing its abolition earlier by up to 50% as early as 2024 and completely from 2025. At the same time, we are implementing a system similar to that implemented by other European countries, such as France and Italy, for the taxation of freelancers.
I want to always be honest and straightforward with you. Our own government strongly believes that taxes should be stable, reasonable and fair. We have proven it by reducing at least 50 taxes to date which have greatly helped both entrepreneurship and work. At the same time, we are adamant against tax injustice and the fight against tax evasion for two reasons.
First, because they lack critical revenue for the necessary increase in government spending on public health, education and security. And secondly, because it is a social challenge for about 500 thousand freelancers to declare that their annual income is lower than that of an employee who receives the minimum wage.
Our intervention is completely measured and balanced without being additional taxation, while at the same time providing all the necessary exemptions for young freelancers, the disabled and residents of small communities.
I want to emphasize that I am personally committed, that the money from the detection of tax evasion will return to society for better health, more spending on education, more effective public safety and defense, more support for young families.
And an illustrative example of this family support is the “Neighborhood Babysitters” program. So this week we announced that we have increased the monthly compensation for the custody and care of infants by a guardian chosen by the parents from the Registry of Guardians: from 250 to 500 euros.
This amount will be given in cases where the parent works full-time or is self-employed or self-employed. Unemployed mothers, parents who work part-time or those who receive another voucher for nurseries will also see the amount doubled, from 150 to 300 euros.
Important news for young couples is also the good progress in the disbursements of the cheap mortgages of the “My Home” program for the acquisition of housing at an affordable interest rate. The program is now exhausted in terms of subscriptions with 9,548 loan approvals amounting to €1 billion. Of these loans, 1,632 have been contracted in the amount of 174 million euros and disbursements have been made for 1,110 of them. In other words, 1,110 new fellow citizens have already acquired their own home.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: I warned the multinationals that Greece is not a banana to sell the same products at much more expensive prices without justifying the increase. So last week, two of them were found to be making unfair profits, and for that we imposed fines totaling 2 million euros. In total, the fines that have been imposed since the beginning of 2023 have reached 8 million euros. In fact, it has been observed that after the imposition of fines, there have been price reductions of up to 25%. I would like to say that the products that have joined the “Permanent Price Reduction” program have now reached almost 600, far exceeding our original goal of 500 products. Let’s go now for the 1000!
I continue on the subject of “legality”: From Wednesday, a large program for the execution of protocols for the demolition of 16 properties located on seashores, beaches and forested areas that had been pending since 1994 began to be implemented – on a pilot basis and from Attica! The program is financed by the Green Fund, and will soon be extended to other regions of the country. The first arbitrarily demolished was a property within the Parnitha National Forest at the “Kalamara” location of the Municipality of Fylis.
I turn to two important initiatives of ours in the field of education.
The first is that we are strengthening the Democritus University of Thrace, with the establishment of two new departments and the integration into it of six existing departments of the International University of Greece. Thus, Democritus University becomes the third largest university in the country, a development that I believe will contribute to the development and support of our Thrace.
The second has to do with technical and professional education. In the last 4 years we have done a lot to upgrade it. We are now moving forward with greater support for post-secondary education, with the connection of IEK-Vocational High Schools and Vocational Workshops, but also with the addition of new study programs and subjects that adapt to the needs of today’s labor market.
On Friday, a law was passed for the creation of a National Network of 17 Advanced Care Units in total to treat patients with Vascular Strokes. I wrote to you about this a few weeks ago. Experts estimate that mortality will decrease by 5% and disability by 17%.
Another big threat is Dementia, the most common cause of which is the brain disease known as Alzheimer’s. That is why on Thursday we presented the Action Plan for Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is a “road map” that aims to make Greece friendly to dementia sufferers and their carers by investing in research and care. Among other things, we are introducing the institutions of “power of attorney for care and care” and “advance directives for care and care” so that sufferers have representation for their health issues and for the fulfillment of their wishes when they are no longer able to make decisions . It’s a matter of dignity.
I’m changing the subject, so we can go to the digitization of six other services of the Greek Police that were announced last week (objections to infringements, complaints of financial crimes, copies of road traffic accident reports, etc.). These are now available through gov and citizens can track the progress of their claim without visiting any service.
I turn to the progress of government aid to those affected by the September floods. I tell you every week the figures, and I hope you see that every week we make progress in this area. Cumulatively, until last Tuesday when the first phase of submitting applications ended and after the checks that were made, 92 million euros have been paid to 24,500 applicants. Reminder: flood victims of the specific areas, whose details cannot currently be identified by AADE, can also submit an application for the compensation due to them. The arogi platform will reopen once the applications submitted so far have been cleared.
I’ll stay on the subject of natural disasters for a little while longer, because there is one more piece of news worth mentioning. This is none other than the strengthening of the National Crisis Management and Risk Management Mechanism. It will now have the ability to take additional preventive measures for the protection and safety of citizens, such as a traffic ban, partial suspension of the obligation to work, provision of teleworking, preventive suspension of outdoor events, concerts, etc. Information about these measures will be provided through our well-known – and lifesaving as it has been proven – 112.
We are also upgrading the National Air Search and Rescue Mechanism, including airlifts of seriously ill, injured and persons in need of immediate assistance and urgent medical care. The National Mechanism will operate in the Unified Coordination Center for Operations and Crisis Management and will be staffed by personnel from the Fire Brigade, EKAV and the General Staff of National Defense.
I close with one more suggestion of culture. It is worth visiting the “Roof of Greek Ideas”, the new innovative space at the Athens Conservatory, where ancient Greek philosophy becomes a unique interactive experience through cutting-edge technologies. The creators of the “Roof” are the Ministry of Culture and the National Center for Natural Sciences Research and the first exhibition has the theme “Democracy and Happiness”.
And I leave you with a Chinese proverb I heard on my recent trip to Beijing: “Whoever wants to move a mountain must start with stones.” I hope you found the “stones” in today’s review interesting! In any case, thank you for your time.”