The matter of accuracy, compared, in fact, to countries such as Spain, is the central issue of the Minister of State Akis Skertsou’s post on social media. Using data from Eurostat and the Spanish central bank, he concludes that our country is “the 8th cheapest country in the EU”, while “it remains a relatively cheap country compared to other EU members”.

With the title of the post, “Does the reduced VAT finally pass through to consumer prices or not? The negative example of Spain with the lowest VAT and the highest inflation”, the Minister of State notes in detail: “The battle to strengthen incomes, wages and pensions, support the purchasing power of Greeks together with improving competition and of pro-consumer prices is sustainable. And we give it with persistence, courage, honesty and without dogma, as was seen with the second in a row extraordinary taxation of the surplus profits of the refineries and the heavy fines that are now imposed on those companies that are illegal”.

However, he continues, “unfortunately, the same is not true for the opposition which insists on proposing the wrong recipe – that is, the easy but costly and mostly failed solution of reducing VAT – but also the wrong example, that of Spain which tried the reduction or the zeroing of VAT without achieving a de-escalation of food inflation. On the contrary, it continues to experience higher inflation than Greece, which has a higher VAT.”

While in the continuation of his post he lists three facts which, as he states, “cannot be disputed because they come from official sources of Eurostat and the Spanish central bank”. Specifically:

“* According to Eurostat, in 9 food categories Spain applies a lower or zero VAT than Greece. And yet in 8 of them inflation is higher than the Greek rate. (Table 1).

* According to a recent report by the Spanish Central Bank, on page 17 a graph shows that the VAT reductions by the Spanish government have only a temporary effect of 1-2 months (with a circled U shape in the graphs) while then the inflation rates recover to the same and higher levels and the reduction is reaped by intermediaries. (Graph 2).

skertsos akriveia

* Contrary to what we have been reading in recent months, according to a recent Eurostat survey, the cost of goods and services in Greece is lower than the European average. Obviously incomes are still low and there has been high inflation in the past 2 years but it has moved to the eurozone average.”

Also, he states, “in relation to 2020, we have become cheaper compared to the Eurozone average. In 2020 we were at 88.4% of average European prices in 2023 we are at 87.2%. Of course, this does not mean that the price level in Greece has not risen. It means, however, that it has risen less than in the average European country.

In other words, Greece remains a relatively cheap country compared to other EU members – the prices of goods and services are at 87% of the European average. Sure, we are more expensive than 7 countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland and Romania), but we are cheaper than the rest of the 19 member states (in other words, we are the 8th cheapest country in the EU). (Graph 3)’.

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Still, he adds, “is all this cause for celebration? In no case. Greece lost 30% of its income in the previous decade and needs to grow for many years at higher rates than the EU to make up the lost distance. As has been the case in recent years.

We will win the battle for better incomes with the right policies, with truth, documentation and respect for the struggle of citizens to get back on their feet without repeating the mistakes that led us to the painful adventure of the multi-year crisis of 2010-2019″ , the Minister of State concludes in his post.