Seeking to address financial pressures caused by the ongoing crises, the government will begin payments of emergency assistance to those in need on Wednesday, while the launch of the fuel subsidy platform is expected probably within the week.
“We are moving ahead without leaving anyone behind,” said government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou, who insisted that “every available means” will be deployed to support the economy.
“We are constantly inventing and discovering new forms and possibilities,” he said.
Regarding ever increasing energy costs, Oikonomou referred to the call by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mistsotakis to Brussels for a comprehensive European response. He also cited Mitsotakis’ commitment that if there is no European solution to soaring energy prices, the government will implement an additional and larger plan of more decisive support.
“It is the decision of the prime minister to exhaust all available funds. To find ways to support society, maintaining the necessary fiscal balance and keeping resources and reserves for the foreseeable future,” he said.
“There will always be support as long as the energy problem persists,” Oikonomou stressed, as he outlined who will receive what on Wednesday.
“The extraordinary financial aid will be paid to the low-income pensioners and the uninsured elderly, as well as to the beneficiaries of the disability allowance, Minimum Guaranteed Income and Child Allowance,” he said.
Broken down, the following will be paid:
a) Extraordinary financial assistance of 200 euros to approximately 677,000 low-income pensioners, 167,000 beneficiaries of disability benefits and 35,000 uninsured elderly citizens.
b) Double installment of the Minimum Guaranteed Income to approximately 240,000 beneficiaries.
c) One-time financial assistance – corresponding to an additional one and a half monthly installment of allowance – to 625,000 families receiving child allowance.
These measures, Oikonomou said, cost 324 million euros and concern “about 1.4 million households with more than 3.2 million members.”
Oikonomou also took time to push back against criticism from opposition SYRIZA about the economy.
“Growth at 4.8% of GDP is among the highest in Europe,” he said, noting that Greece avoided predicted large-scale closures of businesses and an explosion of unemployment.