The Greek government has submitted an amendment that abolishes rent subsidies to ministers and deputy ministers that do not have seats in the Parliament. The amendment has been submitted on Wednesday evening and will be voted later on Thursday.
The abolishing of the rent subsidies will go into effect retrospective as of 1. February 2015, that is the first day it came into force. Consequently every minister and deputy minister who has received the subsidies will have to return the money to the state.
The rent subsidy is 1,000 euros per month. which mean if a minister has been in the government since the beginning he has to return amounts reaching up to 36,000 euros!
Abolishing the rent subsidy became a necessity for the government after it was revealed in February that one of the richest ministers in SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government, Alternate Labor Minister Rania Antonopoulou, had received several thousands euro in subsidy. The public outcry was immense as poor Greeks receive no more than 200 euros in rent subsidy. Opposition parties pressed for removal of the minister from the government.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras fired her within hours, also her husband, Economy Minister, Dimitris Papadimitriou, submitted his resignation on the same day.
Right after the scandal the prime minister decided to abolish the provision.