Pensions and energy subsidies the focus of Greece’s new 5.5 billion euro economic package

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Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced on Saturday 21 initiatives worth 5.5 billion euros to support households and businesses buffeted by the energy crisis and high inflation.

According to Ekathimerini, the package includes, among other things, a 250 euro one-off cost-of-living check aimed at 2.3 million recipients; the boosting of the heating fuel subsidy to 300 million euros; an emergency subsidy of about 150 million euros to farmers to cover rising fuel and animal feed costs; and a hefty rise in housing cost allowances to university students.

Kicking in after the new year will be a rise in pensions and the minimum wage, as well as the wages of national health service and armed forces personnel.

“After many years, pensions will increase for 1.5 million pensioners,” Mitsotakis said during his annual economic policy speech from the northern city of Thessaloniki.

The minimum wage which the government raised to 713 euros ($716) a month earlier this year, would go up again in May, Mitsotakis added, without giving a new figure.

His government will also abolish a so-called solidarity levy on private and public sector workers, a legacy of Greece’s multi-year debt crisis, the Greek Prime Minister said.

“We can achieve high growth rates and support society. The measures we are taking are fully harmonised with the budget targets,” he said.

According to Mitsotakis, the high rates of growth create the fiscal space to support the economy and society at a difficult time, adding that “Greece will present the greatest and fastest reduction of debt as a percentage of GDP.”

On the topic of elections, Mitsotakis repeated that they will take place at the end of his four-year term.

Source: Ekathimerini.

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