"The European Council of March will have as its main issue the competitiveness of the European economy," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday upon his arrival at the summit.
"Greece comes to this debate stronger compared to where it was in 2019. With an economy that is growing rapidly, with unemployment falling, public debt as a percentage of GDP falling at the fastest rate in the European Union and with our country, now, to be a champion in attracting foreign investments," the prime minister stressed.
"This allows the Greek government to be able to continue to support our weaker fellow citizens in the face of an imported wave of high prices, but also makes us more optimistic that the best days of the Greek economy are still ahead," he added.
At the same time, Mitsotakis noted: "Of course, Europe faces a series of major economic challenges. I am not only referring to the imported high prices, which are a result of the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, I am also referring to the issues related to high lending rates, an increase in interest rates which the European Central Bank deems necessary in order to contain inflation. We know that this increase in interest rates also puts pressure on Greek borrowers, as it forces them to allocate a larger part of their disposable income on servicing their loans."
"However, I want to emphasise the progress we have made in recent years and the fact that our banks are now strong. And in the face of the global financial storm that has unfolded in recent weeks, I want to once again reassure all Greek depositors that the Greek banking system is strong and that their deposits are protected. And, of course, as Greece will continue to make progress and - finally - achieve investment grade, we will be able to expect that the cost of borrowing for Greek businesses, for Greek households, for the Hellenic Republic will also decrease, with the result that we will not be so negatively dependent on any interest rate hike decided by the European Central Bank," underlined the prime minister.