“The demographic problem is one of the most important challenges for both our country and Europe, especially after the rapid changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to our lives. And tackling it is a national imperative and a national responsibility,” he said. The Undersecretary of Labor and Social Affairs, in charge of Demographic Policy and Family, Maria Syregela, addressing the 21st conference of the International Union of French-speaking Journalists, which is currently taking place at the French Institute in Athens.
Referring to the government’s initiatives to address the problem, Ms. Syregela noted that “protecting the family and tackling the demographic are top priorities of our government and the prime minister himself.” Among other things, Ms. Syregela referred to measures that intersect all areas of policy “for the support of the family, the harmonization of family and professional life and the essential equality of the sexes which are inextricably linked to the demographic policy”, stating “the increase of the tax-free limit of 1,000 euros per child, the reduction of VAT on baby items from 24% to 13%, the employment in the wider public sector of at least 900 unemployed members of families with three or more children and the childbirth allowance of 2,000 euros, with a simplified grant procedure to a wide circle of beneficiaries “.
In addition, the Undersecretary, whose agenda includes gender equality, informed about the Equality Label given to companies that have as a priority the promotion of equal treatment policies, as well as the incorporation of the European Directive on the harmonization of professional and family life. “We introduced paternity leave for the first time, completed the framework of parental leave, introduced flexible work arrangements for parents and carers and went the country even further by protecting new parents from dismissal,” said Ms. Syregela, adding that with the new employment The law provided for leave for women undergoing assisted reproduction. The Undersecretary reminded of the recent initiative of the Ministry of Health that allows women older, up to 54 years, to have children through assisted reproduction, while allowing the cryopreservation of eggs for social reasons.
“We continue to support all women with entrepreneurship programs, with the creation of the Innovation Center for Women and the strengthening of education and training of women and girls in research and technology,” said Ms. Syregela, noting that the strengthening of child care gives options for parents, “tailored to their own needs, such as” Neighborhood Nannies “and the creation of babysitting facilities in businesses”, in addition to daycare centers, with the aim of facilitating them.
At the same time, the Undersecretary referred to the special plan for the housing of young people, which is being prepared by the government, “expanding a series of options for partnership with the private sector and utilizing the untapped property of the State”. “We are fulfilling our commitments for the practical support of families, households, young people and all citizens of the country, laying the foundations for the creation of a better Greece, the Greece that we want and deserve,” concluded Ms. Syregela.
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