NEWS

Bundle of cash for third child

In a bid which could help spur population growth, the government announced yesterday that it will provide three-children families with a boost to the household budget including a one-off, 2,000-euro payment. The Finance and Health ministries said that families who have a third child as of next year will be eligible for a tax-free cash injection of 2,000 euros, an amount that will go up to 2,500 euros as of 2007. «Supporting families with three children is a basic government policy,» said the Finance Ministry, which pointed out that the allowance can help cover maternity expenses. As in other European countries, Greece has low population growth coupled with an aging citizenry. Additionally, three-children families will be able to get a discount on a levy applicable on car sales next year. Between 8,000 and 10,000 Greek families have a third child, according to Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis. The allowance is expected to be given the green light in Parliament in November, sources said.