Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has made it clear that politically his government will stand with the European Union and NATO over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as his ministers scramble to find ways of mitigating the economic impact of the war.
New media allegations of pushbacks of migrants from the Greek borders and a stern warning from the UN have led the Greek government to issue a statement defending its humanitarian record and denying the use of illegal and dangerous border defence practices.
Athens condemns any revisionism and threat against the territorial integrity of any country – this was the message from Athens shortly before Russia began its attack on Ukraine on Thursday.
In another indication of how much the cost of living crisis is worrying the government, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with representatives of the retail sector on Tuesday afternoon to discuss ways of containing price hikes.
The escalating crisis in Ukraine has prompted a high-level review of the security of Greece’s energy supplies, with concerns about access routes to natural gas now added to the existing challenge posed by high prices.
The government finds itself in a fine balancing act as it tries to eke out some fiscal space to provide vulnerable households with a handout before Easter, thereby possibly easing some of the pressure it is facing to help Greeks combat inflation.
Athens and Moscow will remain in contact as part of the diplomatic dialogue at all levels regarding the crucial situation surrounding Ukraine after a meeting between their top diplomats last week.
The government passed on Thursday legislation that it argues will lead to a substantial overhaul of Greece’s much-troubled main social security fund, EFKA. There were, however, strong objections from the opposition parties.
Worsening inflation date on the one hand and ebbing polling figures on the other are creating divergent challenges for Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s government, which is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain consistency in its messaging.
Although there was broad approval in Parliament on Tuesday for Greece’s purchase of an extra six Rafale jets and up to 4 Belharra frigates from France, the debate around the procurements still provided ample opportunity for political differences, particularly between New Democracy and SYRIZA to be aired.