“A great progressive government, independent, as we are, will be able to crack down on the enormous confusion and waste that exists,” he stressed. the president of SYRIZA-PS, Stefanos Kasselakis, in the greeting he addressed to the Economic-Business Conference of “Naftemporiki” entitled “Upgrading Greece” held in Zappeion. He noted at the same time that “the country needs a social state, an interventionist state in major social issues and a fully efficient state that will have clarity…”.

He emphasized that “every day we wake up we choose what Greeks we are. We choose whether we will be the sins of our past, whether we will succumb to racism or whether we will become a modern European country that will have empathy and humanity in it.” And he urged everyone to choose the second course.

In particular, commenting on the title of the conference, Mr. Kasselakis said that some people do not focus on the upgrading of Greece, raising the question of what Greece is and commenting that it is neither a sudden paradise, nor a nightmare. He noted that “without a human-centered policy we are not doing politics, we are doing a collection of financial numbers”.

Describing his experience as a Greek expatriate, the president of SYRIZA-PS emphasized the inequalities and injustices in the country. “Is the Greece of Athens and Attica with very large social inequalities? With class divisions? With very little social advancement? With the queues at the hospitals?” he said. He spoke about the “collapsing” NHS, the long time it takes to make an appointment – “digital appointments for vaccines are good but let’s see both sides” -, the amount of private expenses which at a rate of 40% are from the highest.

He said that the investment grade is welcome, “but the same Standard and Poor’s analysis was telling about how vulnerable and non-extroverted the country is. For the huge current account deficit. And yes, for the huge cushion the country has right now. Which is why we have investment grade.” He noted that now the question is how we use it to be able to have a social level for all Greeks.

Regarding energy, he raised the question: “should we invest in old technologies or should we invest in the renewable sources of the future and finally the Greeks can consume the energy they produce?”. He also commented that “Greece is Thessaloniki, a city where it has the least amount of green in all of Europe and instead of Kalamaria becoming a green agency, a green park”, “again real estate and foreign investors and golden visas.

In Volos, he noted, “three out of four have not received compensation and come to me and cry. They cry. And they don’t have a hand to help them unravel their lives. Time has frozen for them.” He commented that “this Greece is a “paradise”” and asked: “Is the mayor of Volos who takes out his intolerance in public and then do you think that emigrants will come to return to the country?” He said that intolerance is evident, that nepotism and nepotism are everywhere, that independent authorities are under enormous pressure, “We can’t know what’s going on with wiretapping, Mr. Voridis pretends it’s normal to be watched when we all know who is this someone’. “Do you think that expatriates will come to Greece when this is the quality of our democracy?” underlined.

He mentioned Kilkis, a city that “has lost more than 10% of its population in recent years”, Lemnos that is “without an anaesthetist”. He asked where the investment tier is for public health to work, while commenting: “we are in the business of privatizing universities instead of building universities and investing in them.” He noted that in our country there is no access for people with disabilities.

“We have to talk about the man. Our fellow man. Our fellow citizen. Greece is the Greeks. They are all Greeks, inside and outside. And with these terms we must talk about an upgrade. Without a human-centered policy, we do not do politics. We do a financial number crunching. The person must be at the center”, he underlined.

He pointed out that SYRIZA held 17 development conferences when it was the government and that in the next period there will be other such development pre-conferences.

Mr. Kasselakis emphasized that the big bet for our country is the convergence with the European Union.

It stated in particular that:

– Greece is last in the EU in terms of investment to GDP ratio. 13.7%. Deviation of 8.8% from the European Union and 8.7% from the Eurozone. We have an annual investment gap of 18,000,000,000.

– Greece is last in the EU and in private investments. 7.4% of GDP, when the EU average is 14%.

– In exports deviation of 6% of GDP from the eurozone, we are 15,000,000,000 behind the average we should have had.

– In terms of purchasing power, we are in 24th place out of 27, with a 32% deviation from the EU average.

– In health spending, another 3 billion is needed for convergence in health.

– Education expenditure needs 1.25 billion for convergence.

– Family and child spending needs 1.7 billion for convergence.

– In disability spending, 2.7 billion is needed for convergence.

– In housing policy, 90% of young people up to the age of 29 still live with their parents.

The president of SYRIZA also referred to Recovery Fund:The minister himself, not you, I think the deputy minister, made the admission that it is for big business because they have better access to the banks. So instead of solving the problem for small and medium-sized businesses and for banks with credits, what do we do? What they say in English double down on the problem, we increase the distinction between small and medium and large”, he emphasized. He added that “the absorption of the Recovery Fund is half of what was predicted, and of the first hundred companies that receive this money, the great majority are large or very large companies.”

Concerning in tax Mr. Kasselakis said that the government “is going to impose an unheard of horizontal measure on individual businesses, on freelancers, with completely arbitrary criteria”, while “all the agencies say that this is unfair”. “That is, we will close small companies, finance very large companies. Without building a social welfare state, with health and education falling apart.” “This is not the way you upgrade Greece,” argued Mr. Kasselakis.