The two relevant ministries gave a response to SYRIZA’s announcement, on the occasion of the ELSTAT report on the deprivations experienced by a significant part of the population.
Specifically, the press offices of the Ministries of Finance and Labor and Social Affairs issued a statement, referring to the ELSTAT data on the results of the Household Income and Living Conditions Survey for the year 2021.
As reported, the preachers started in Koumoundourou square: in the official opposition party, they isolate the indicators of the year in which Europe and the world economy experienced the biggest post-war recession due to the coronavirus crisis in order to distort reality and draw false conclusions.
But let’s look at the results with more care and depth.
First of all, due to the pandemic and the precautionary measures taken by the government, 2020 was a completely atypical year, which does not lend itself to comparisons over time.
The first conclusion that emerges from the survey results is that, despite the large drop in GDP of 9.0%, the measures to support household income adopted by the government were effective and almost completely supported the household disposable income (a decrease of only 0.9%).
Ministries of Labor and Finance: In 2021, the Greek economy recovered impressively
As for the increase in poverty and inequality indicators recorded for the year 2020, this is temporary and is due to the structure of the Greek economy. In particular, it reflects the significant percentage of employment in service industries with a high degree of social contact that, due to the pandemic, remained closed for a long time in 2020.
As a result, in 2020 these industries lost significant revenue. Due to the horizontal provision of financial assistance of €534 per month to a large number of furloughed workers, the incomes of a relatively small group of households close to the poverty line fell below it, increasing the poverty rate.
This phenomenon is also observed in other countries of the European Union with a significant dependence on the high social contact services sector, such as Spain, Italy and Austria. At the same time, however, this horizontal benefit benefited many workers, especially part-time workers, whose monthly earnings before the pandemic were lower than the benefit. As a result, the poverty gap, that is, the average distance of the poor from the poverty line, was reduced from 27.3% to 26.4%.
In 2021, the Greek economy recovered impressively. The growth rate was 8.3% and employment increased by some 200,000 people, breaking the 4 million barrier for the first time in many years. This helped improve the standard of living of households: According to the same survey, and with the reference year now in 2021, the percentage of the population in material deprivation had increased slightly from 16.2% in 2019 to 16.6% in 2020, in 2021 it registers a significant decrease to 14.8%. This development foresees a complete reversal of the increase in poverty and inequality indicators recorded in 2020, by 2021, when the relevant income data becomes available.
Regarding the current year, according to estimates by international organizations and international houses, despite the global financial crisis, the Greek economy is expected to record high growth rates, unemployment continues its downward trend, while the government has proceeded with courage and within the limits of the economy, an increase in the minimum wage that reaches 10%.
As a result, we reasonably expect that the results of the next Household Income and Living Conditions Survey (reference year 2022) will record an even greater improvement in the living standards of the population. As the Greek and international experience shows, the effective and sustainable way to reduce poverty and social inequalities is to increase the employment created by an economic policy favorable to development. The government follows and will continue to follow this policy, for the benefit of all Greek citizens.
source: iefi merida