Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced an extra Christmas bonus to health workers, low-pensioners and people with disabilities who receive allowance. The extra bonus is aiming to absorb price hikes for the benefit of those combating the pandemic and the vulnerable groups of the society. The bonus is one off payment.
Speaking at the Parliament on Monday, the Greek PM said
- 100,000 active workers at hospitals and ambulance service (EKAV) will receive an extra bonus equal to half of their monthly wage. 900 euros will be distributed within the month of December.
- Low-pensioners will receive an additional aid of 250 euros plus 50 euros for each family member
- 250 euros will be distributed to 173,000 people with disabilities.
According to media, low-pensioners eligible for the bonus are those with up to €7,200 taxable income (€600 per month) and annual family income up to 14,400 euros. The value of the taxable real estate should not exceed 200,000 euros in total. The bonus affects estimated 800,000 people and will be given end of December. Total cost: 205 million euros
People with disabilities who already receive disability allowance will receive the 250-euro bonus at the end of December. Total cost: 43.5 million euros.
Cost of the bonus for health workers at hospitals, health centers and EKAV is 90 million euros.
The total cost of the extra bonus mounts to 338.5 million euros, media reported.
Speaking at the Parliament on the price hikes after main opposition party SYRIZA initiated such a debate, Mitsotakis said that the price hikes are temporary due to a “global price crisis” and predicted that it will last until the first half of 2022.
“The first truth is that there is a global price crisis. After the lockdowns, increased demand raised prices and inflation. For these reasons, and some others, energy prices have risen,” the PM said adding “there is a lot of discussion among economists. The vast majority of them, and I consider it in a documented way, claim that the phenomenon will be temporary. Others believe that this phenomenon is attributed to fiscal easing. The ECB shares the first view, hence it does not raise interest rates, which could be a brake on growth.”
Mitsotakis noted that this is not the first time we have had similar inflationary trends, and cited the European debt crisis in 2010-2011
“And then the phenomenon proved to be temporary, so even now I think we will see a de-escalation of the phenomenon in the first quarter of 2022,” he underlined.