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PM Mitsotakis: Unicredit-Alpha Bank deal a 'resounding vote of confidence' in Greece's banking sector and economy

Featured PM Mitsotakis: Unicredit-Alpha Bank deal a 'resounding vote of confidence' in Greece's banking sector and economy

The good news from ELSTAT and Eurostat concerning the rise in available household income and Greece's top EU position as regards increasing employment were highlighted in the weekly review published by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Facebook each Sunday, while he especially emphasised the deal between Unicredit and Alpha Bank.

"I will start with a resounding vote of confidence in our country: the Unicredit-Alpha Bank agreement, which was announced on the day after S&P gave [Greece] an investment grade [credit rating]," the prime minister said.

He pointed out that this was the first European strategic investor to enter the Greek financial system in 17 years and another proof that both the Greek banking sector and the Greek economy have entered a course of positive prospects and growth.

"The mega deal will also be the first major step for the state's withdrawal from the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, which we hope will be continued as the government will remain dedicated to the reforms and systematic work 'to make us Europe', to make Greece a country that is permanently on the 'radar' of the markets, attracting more foreign investments and therefore more and better paid jobs in cutting-edge sectors," he added.

Regarding the increase in available income in 2022, to the highest level since 2011, he said that the government's aim was that incomes should converge with those of Europe and that this could only happen with a policy of growth and investments.

He also cited a Eurostat survey showing that four out of the five European regions with the biggest percentage increases in employment were in Greece, specificially in Epirus (7.7%), South Aegean (5.8%), Crete (5.7%) and Central Greece (5.4%).

Mitsotakis said that this reduction in unemployment was the result of high growth rates but also the transformation of the former OAED labour employment organisation from a benefits service to one geared to helping people find jobs and acquire skills.

Regarding state assistance to flood victims, Mitsotakis said that 82.1 million euros have been paid to 20,794 applicants to cover essentials and urgent repairs and to replace household necessities. He noted that payments will continue for all eligible beneficiaries that apply until October 31.

The prime minister also noted that legislation tabled in parliament on Friday will speed up payment of compensation to Thessaly farmers for losses of crops and livestock in storms Daniel and Elias, with payments to be made within November. He further highlighted the signing of an agreement to assign the master plan for irrigation and anti-flooding works in the Thessaly plain to the Dutch company HVA International.

Other topics touched on by the prime minister in the weekly review included that of electricity rate subsidies in November, the Fofi Gennimata breast cancer screening programme and its extension to women aged 45-74 (from 50-69 previously), the opening of an Assisted Living Home for people with disabilities and new digital services now offered by the state to citizens.

He also referred to the start of "ecosystem adoptions" in schools as a means of cultivating environmental awareness, the school meals programme, the hiring of 2,763 supply teachers to cover shortages of teaching staff and announced that teachers who fail to comply with assessment procedures will face disciplinary action affecting their advancement and be docked a month's pay.

Mitsotakis stressed that performance assessments were also the "key" to improving the quality of public-sector administrations and concerned 600 positions of presidents, vice-presidents, directors and deputy directors employed in the civil service and broader public sector. He noted that administrations will sign performance contracts, operate on the basis of annual action plans and will be assessed on their achievement of annual targets, while those who significantly underperform may even face removal.

The prime minister ended the weekly review with the news that Thessaloniki is to get 150 new bus drivers and a suggestion that Athenians visit the newly opened Maria Callas Museum in the Greek capital.