|Prokopis Pavlopoulos (New Democracy, centre-right, since February 2015)
Kyriakos Mitsotakis (New Democracy, since July 2019)
|Size||131,957 km2 (50,949 sq miles)|
|MEPs||21 (joined the EU in 1981)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
|Presidency of the Council||July – December 2027|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||None held to date|
|Brexit priorities||With a fragile economy, Greece is mostly concerned with what the economic impact of Brexit will be. Fluctuations of both the euro and the pound can have great consequences for foreign investment in Greece. Tourism is the country’s most important industry and with two million British tourists visiting the country yearly, it will be vital for Greece to maintain steady currencies and good relations with the UK. Greece also wants to maintain tuition costs for Greek students studying in Britain. The Bank of Greece has estimated that the cost of Brexit for Greece ranges from 0.4% to 0.8% of Greek GDP.
The UK and Greece also have common interest in getting an agreement on the unification of Cyprus, an EU country with three guarantor powers: the UK, Greece and Turkey.
|What former PM Tsipras said on Brexit||26 June 2016
“As much as the decision of the British people saddens us, it is a decision to be respected. We must not put the blame on the British people … when the borders remain open on austerity policies but stay closed for people.”
Brexit is “a wake-up call” and a “predictable crisis because of the democratic deficit, because of the absence of social cohesion and solidarity.”
|Greece’s priorities||Former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of the far-left Syriza party called a snap election following his party’s defeat at European and regional elections in May 2019. Following the general election in July, the centre-right party New Democracy obtained 159 out of 300 seats, pushing Syriza into second place. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis can now govern with an absolute majority.
The government’s priority is to restore the Greek economy following the third bailout programme it received in 2015. It wants reform taxes, encourage entrepreneurship and attract private investments. It will also want to request Greece’s creditors to ease their oversight and lower their demands for a primary surplus of 3% of GDP.
Furthermore, Greece has also been hit hard by the refugee crisis, with many refugees entering the country without being able to travel any further. This has put great pressure on the country’s resources, which is why the Greek Government aims to resettle refugees throughout the EU.
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