Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis decided to sweeten the pill a bit after backlash against the Covid-19 restrictive measures introduced on Monday and the price rises by announcing an additional Christmas bonus (δώρο) for medics, low-income pensioners and people with disabilities on benefits.
The added bonus aims to offset price increases for the benefit of those fighting the pandemic and vulnerable groups in society. This payment is one-time.
Speaking to parliament on Monday, the Greek Prime Minister said:
100,000 active hospital and ambulance workers (EKAV) will receive an additional bonus equal to half their monthly salary. € 900 will be distributed during December. Low-income pensioners will receive additional assistance of 250 euros plus 50 euros for each family member. 250 euros will be distributed among 173,000 people with disabilities.
According to media reports, low-income pensioners who are eligible for the bonus are people with taxable income of up to € 7,200 (€ 600 per month) and an annual family income of up to € 14,400. The total value of taxable property must not exceed EUR 200,000. The bonus will affect 800,000 people and will be released at the end of December. Total cost of aid: € 205 million.
People with disabilities who are already receiving disability benefits will receive a € 250 bonus at the end of December. Total cost: € 43.5 million.
The cost of the award for healthcare professionals in hospitals, clinics and EKAV is € 90 million.
Reportedly MASS MEDIA, the total value of the additional bonuses thus increases to 338.5 million euros.
Speaking to parliament on the price hike after the main opposition party SYRIZA initiated such a debate, Mitsotakis said the price hike was temporary due to the “global price crisis” and predicted it would last until the first half of 2022.
“The first truth is that there is a global price crisis. After blocking, the growth in demand led to higher prices and inflation. For these and some other reasons, energy prices have increased, ”the Prime Minister said, adding that“ there is a lot of discussion among economists. The vast majority of them – and I consider this to be documented – state that this phenomenon will be temporary. Others believe it has to do with the relaxation of fiscal policy. The ECB shares the first point of view, so it does not raise interest rates, which may slow down growth. “
Mitsotakis noted that this is not the first time that similar inflationary trends have been observed, and referred to the European debt crisis of 2010-2011. “And then this phenomenon turned out to be temporary, so I think that already now we will see a de-escalation of the phenomenon in the first quarter of 2022,” the prime minister emphasized.