Party leaders weigh in on the economy, foreign policy, and surveillance fallout at ERT debate

Party leaders weigh in on the economy, foreign policy, and surveillance fallout at ERT debate

Politics

The Greek party leaders' debate on national broadcaster ERT opened on Wednesday night with responses related to the theme of the economy, development, and employment, with short answers mostly on the clock. Cereport reports citing Athens-Macedonian

The issue of inflation is a global one, New Democracy leader and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said. "It has started dropping in Greece, although prices remain high in foods." He said that families tried by the high cost of living were supported through the market pass program, but that the policy for a second four-year term would be to increase wages. "Inflation will drop, but wage increases will be permanent," he asserted. Decreases in VAT would not be effective for consumers, he added.

Civil servants' wages have not increased in 14 years, and there is fiscal space to do this, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said, adding there is fiscal space to do this from taxing the excess profits of large businesses. "While the average household is left without money three weeks into the month, 15 large businesses in the Stock Exchange have 20-year records of 1 billion euros in profits each," he underlined. He criticized the government for 10 billion euros in subsidies "so that energy companies can keep prices high," and added that "if we do not decide to make radical changes, in a few years from now there will be no middle class left."

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