New support measures for February

Amid crippling energy prices, gov’t seeks to provide aid to households and businesses

New support measures for February

Leaving behind the resignation of Rural Development Minister Spilios Livanos on Monday, Greece’s conservative government is to announce a fresh batch of support measures that will apply in February for households and businesses, as part of a response strategy to deal with the impact of high prices it announced in early January. 

Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas will make the relevant announcement on Wednesday before noon. 

Referring on Tuesday to the price hikes, Minister of State Giorgos Gerapetritis spoke of an international phenomenon.

“The announcements made for the OECD countries show that the consumer price index is the highest in 30 years,” he said, noting that “no country has been able to fully respond to the price increases.”

“Greece has strengthened households and businesses with 1.75 billion euros in the last five months and will continue to do so in February,” Gerapetritis added.

Tellingly, the monthly amount given to help those affected is 400 million euros, with the government constantly trying to balance between the necessary support for households and discipline so that Greece’s budget is not derailed.

“Reducing tax is not an easy exercise. We have to be very careful not to jeopardize the fiscal balance,” he stressed.

The government is well aware that in the coming period, and certainly until there is an easing of the energy crisis, it will have to constantly seek this balance between bolstering weaker groups and the fiscal balance.

Within this context, the government is reportedly examining targeted measures with a wider impact on more people, such as the reduction of value-added tax.

“There will be aid, targeting those who really need it. It is a dynamic phenomenon that is constantly being studied,” Gerapetritis insisted.

Meanwhile, government officials Tuesday expressed a keenness to leave behind Livanos’ resignation, saying “the issue is closed” and that they will “continue tackling problems of daily life.”

On Monday, New Democracy expelled Petros Doukas, mayor of Sparta and a former deputy foreign and finance minister, following his claim, in video footage that has emerged, to Livanos that the party won the 2007 elections by handing out money to the victims of the deadly wildfires that devastated the region of Ilia earlier that summer.

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