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How many signatures needed to approve “heating oil benefits”?

Deputy Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis announced on Thursday the income criteria for those eligible to receive the “heating oil allowance” for winter 2015/2016. Trying to justify why the criteria have been announced late, Alexiadis said underlined that “dozens of signatures were needed” for the approval of this decision and therefore the delay.

A total of 43 signatures, directors and deputy directors had to put their signature under the decision,” state ERT TV found out. I am not sure whether only one Ministry or more were involved.

Of course.

The criticism to the super ultra bureaucratic state mechanism is not new. But the state does nothing to change this system that often leads to practically unjustified delays.

On the other hand, a lean state mechanism, a lean public administration would mean that the Greek government – any Greek government – would have to fire thousands of soldiers/voters.

Thousands of civil servants with an exceptional talent for “future forecasts” left the public administration in early retirement half a year after the International Monetary Fund arrived in the country in late spring 2010. They knew their salaries and many of their benefits would be cut. So they left taking with them the most they could.

Behind is left a stumbling public administration with many positions empty due to the 1:10 ratio in hiring. After 6 years of crisis and austerity and this public administration is still unable to reform from within.

Income criteria for the heating oil allowance are:

For single household: 12,000 euro annual income & property value max. 100,000 euro

Fro families: 20,000 annual income & property value 200,000 euro, plus 2,000 euro per child

The heating allowance is maximum 800 euro per beneficiary and thus depending in the geographic area the beneficiary is located. Residents in the North of Greece get more money than those in Central or the South. The payments will start beginning of February and will end in June 2016.

This year, the total number of beneficiaries is cut into half when compared to 2014.

Households heating with natural gas are excepted from the “allowance” probably because the state thinks that they have euro printing machines at home.  natural-gas heating for 85 square meter apartment in Athens could very well cost some 130 euro per month. and I have in mind some elderly in my neighborhood who have to come up with 600-euro pension gross.

BTW: the stinking smog triggered by the fireplaces has already started to spread around since last week.

PS I wouldn’t know, the Greek Finance Ministry had 43 directors & deputy directors…

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