The 2021 budget was passed through Parliament on Tuesday night after five days of intense debate, allowing the government to now focus on the coronavirus vaccination programme that it hopes will be a catalyst for the economic recovery it expects next year.
The debate over the government’s economic response to the pandemic is expected to reach a crescendo on Tuesday as Parliament approaches its vote on next year’s budget.
There was slight encouragement for the government over the weekend as Greece’s Covid-19 numbers eased a little ahead of the start of efforts to re-open parts of the retail sector in the run-up to Christmas.
A group of EU member states managed to obstruct any attempt by Athens to include in the December 10-11 European Council’s conclusions direct references and punitive measures against Turkey’s actions in the East Med.
Greece did not get the commitment it was looking for from its European partners on sanctions for Turkey, but the breakthrough regarding the EU Covid-19 recovery fund provided Athens with some relief as a tough year draws to close.
Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi has accused the Turkish coastguard and foreign NGOs of putting migrants’ lives in danger on the Aegean crossing.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has identified clearing the pensions backlog as one of the government’s priorities for 2021 after New Democracy struggled to live up to its pledge to ensure retirees receive their payments in less time than in the past.
As the Greek government continues to come under fire from the opposition over its handling of the second wave of Covid-19, PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis gave a TV interview on Monday in an attempt to clarify his position.
The cabinet meets on Monday with the next steps on the Covid-19 front uppermost in ministers’ minds despite the virus showing no signs of abating over the weekend.
SYRIZA is keeping up the pressure on the government over its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, with opposition leader Alexis Tsipras asking again for the minutes from the meetings of the scientific committee advising ministers to be released.