The announcement on Tuesday by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of a special one-off benefit of between 200 and 300 euros without delay to pensioners who have not seen increases in their pensions due to the so-called “personal difference” – i.e. the difference between pensions issued before and after the May 2016 cutoff date – is the first in a series of measures that will come before Parliament in the coming days.
“There will be an extraordinary benefit for pensioners who did not see an increase in their pensions as of January 1, 2023. It will be between 200 and 300 euros, depending on the amount of pension that each person receives,” the prime minister said during a press conference in the northern city of Kozani.
“It will be a one-off payment and we estimate that it will approach a total of 300 million euros,” Mitsotakis added, noting that the Greek economy is growing faster than expected and the fiscal cost for this provision has been calculated.
Other measures in the pipeline include the expected announcement on Wednesday of the possibility of 36 to 72 installments for new debts of prudent borrowers.
Moreover, within the week a legislative regulation with improvements for out-of-court settlements to deal with nonperforming loans and protect primary residences will go to Parliament.
The moves are seen as a clear reflection of Greece’s good fiscal picture and, as Mitsotakis himself said, as long as the economy is doing well, injustices such as the one to pensioners, which he attributed to the Katrougalos law passed under the previous government led by SYRIZA, will be restored.
The fact that these measures are heading directly to Parliament has led to speculation that the prime minister may dissolve Parliament and declare elections for April 9 within the first 10 days of March.
The momentum that has been building since the earthquakes in Turkey and the temporary thaw in Greek-Turkish relations, is leading according to many observers to a push for elections to be held immediately, as the fear of a heated incident between the countries has subsided significantly.
Commenting on election speculation, Mitsotakis said that they will be held in the spring, “plus or minus a few weeks,” again leaving all options open.