When it was in the opposition, New Democracy had criticized Alexis Tsipras’s leftist government for distributing the country’s primary budget surplus in the form of an end-of-the year handout.
The argument of the conservative party at the time was that the money would go toward consumption, without having any real effect on growth. More importantly it argued that the handouts would not help lift those people out of poverty.
The argument was not wrong. Authorities need to come up with smart tools to support the most vulnerable in society; they need to introduce measures that can provide something more than one-off relief.
Back then, the benefit was used by leftist populists as a trick intended to convince the recipients to vote for SYRIZA, although it did not spare them a defeat at the polls.