3.5 C
New York
Sunday, November 28, 2021

Greece to distribute 1.4 billion euros to citizens hit by austerity

Greece to distribute 1.4 billion euros to citizens hit by austerityGreece to distribute 1.4 billion euros to citizens hit by austerity

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece will distribute 1.4 billion euros ($1.63 billion) as a social dividend to pensioners and others hit hard by the country’s austerity programs, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday.

The money is available because the country has beaten its 2017 bailout target for a primary surplus – which excludes debt servicing costs – of 1.75 percent of gross economic output, he said.

Tsipras came to power in 2015 promising to end austerity but was later forced to sign up to a new EU bailout, the country’s third, in exchange for more belt-tightening to keep Greece in the euro zone. He was re-elected and his term ends in late 2019.

His leftist-led government hopes that after seven years of crisis, Greece’s fiscal performance will help it emerge from EU bailouts in August 2018, when its current rescue package ends.

“For a second year, we are in a position to distribute a social dividend to the people who need it the most. Better prepared and more effective this year, we will be able to pay out an even bigger amount,” he said in a televised statement.

Last year, Tsipras unexpectedly announced that the state would pay out about 600 million euros to low-income pensioners, a move that angered the country’s international lenders.

This year’s handouts have been approved in principle by the lenders, who are reviewing Greece’s bailout progress. Their representatives are expected in Athens this month to resume talks on fiscal targets and on reforms.

“We (the institutions) have been discussing these ideas with the Greek authorities. The announcements seem broadly in line with these discussions, which have not been concluded yet,” an EU Commission spokesman said, adding that the proposals would be examined by the lenders.

Tsipras said about 720 million euros would be distributed by mid-December to 3.4 million Greeks as a one-off, tax-free benefit, based on income and wealth criteria and household size. The country’s population is about 11 million.

Another 315 million euros would be directed to pensioners, he said, to compensate them for “unfair” health contribution payments in 2012-2016, while 360 million euros would be paid to Greece’s biggest power utility, Public Power Corporation (AT:), to prevent electricity tariff increases.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Source: Investing.com

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

10,914FansLike
12,893FollowersFollow
753FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

Popular Articles