Turkey’s actions in Syria and the East Med, as well as the EU prospects of Albania and North Macedonia are top of the diplomatic agenda for Greece this week, amid high-level meetings between European officials.
The government is hoping to wrap up on Monday the budget negotiations it has been having over the last few weeks with the European institutions so next year’s draft economic plan can be submitted to the European Commission on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pledged on Thursday that his government would use any extra fiscal space at the end of the year “to support the weakest” in Greek society.
Even though negotiations between Athens and the institutions regarding next year’s budget, and the potential fiscal gap, are continuing, New Democracy is targeting more relief measures this year and in 2020.
Having submitted to Parliament on Monday the draft 2020 budget, including the tax cuts pledged by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in September, the government is turning its focus to other domestic political issues.
The visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Athens was full of clear messages as well as symbolism.
In his first parliamentary question time as prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is due to be probed on Friday about the migration issue, which is fast becoming a burning political matter for his government.
The government shrugged off Wednesday’s strike – the second in as many weeks – as the action of a small group of unionists rather than a larger protest against its proposed labour reforms.
Mindful of the potential political damage it could suffer if it is not deemed to be managing the migration situation adequately, the government has announced a range of measures aimed at showing that it is addressing the uptick in arrivals and deteriorating conditions at hotspots.
Athens appears satisfied with the results of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s first appearance last week at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where he also held a series of meetings with foreign leaders and investors.