BUSINESS

Handouts come under more criticism

EIRINI CHRYSOLORA

TAGS: Finance

Analysts who examined the substance and the math behind the government handouts announced last Tuesday say they exceed the budget’s margins and are aimed in the wrong direction.

While Greece’s creditors are threatening sanctions if the target for a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product is violated, as Bloomberg reported last Friday, analysts in Athens identify further sources for concern.

Experts have no doubt that the measures were exclusively aimed at drumming up citizens’ support ahead of three election races this year and are concerned that if these measures are implemented they could pose a risk to the country’s financial improvement, the only achievement of the bailout years, while hampering its return to the markets.

In any case, economists believe that the handout package will lead to the spending of capital that ought to have been invested in boosting growth, a goal that remains elusive in Greece’s weak post-program recovery.

At the center of criticism lies the so-called “13th pension,” which is no more than a handout of 800 million euros in total, which has even been criticized by government MPs who argue that the money could have been better be used to prop up low-income households, if not toward other growth objectives.

Online