The Mitsotakis government’s draft 2024 budget was ratified on Sunday evening during a e-roll call vote in Parliament, with 158 deputies – all from the ruling New Democracy (ND) party – voting in favor, compared to 142 against.

Defense ministry expenditures were approved by 249 deputies in the 300-MP legislature.

Debate extended over 66 hours, with 220 deputies addressing the plenum from Parliament’s podium, of which 34 are Cabinet members.

Highlights from Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ address included a 20% increase for on-call shift pay allocated to state hospital physicians, as well as the establishment of non-state higher education institutions, i.e. colleges.

While avoiding a reference to constitutional article 16, which mandates only state higher education in the country – i.e. recognition by the state and its services – Mitsotakis said a relevant law for establishment of non-state institutions comes into effect next month. The latter is viewed as an attempt to bypass the constitutional obstacle.

As with practically all Greek prime ministers in the past, he appeared optimistic about the economy next year, saying the now approved state budget will be the first since a restoration of Greece’s investment grade rating (which was downgraded in 2010).