Greek PM Says New Democracy Will Give Social Dividend Too

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS - Following the footsteps of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that paid big holiday bonuses, Greece’s New Democracy government will also give social dividends to some of the country’s most vulnerable.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitostakis, with Christmas and New Year’s on the horizon, said it would be paid from an excess in the primary surplus, the size of which he said was massaged by SYRIZA in a practice he criticized before ousting them in July 7 snap elections.

SYRIZA’s handouts were given to the poor and pensioners who had been hammered with big cuts, including by the Leftists who promised to reverse that before then-Premier Alexis Tsipras reneged on those pledges too, along with imposing more austerity he said he’d stop.

That dividend was paid out the previous three years initially to hundreds of thousands of households, and without income and asset criteria, but only based on an individual's monthly pension rate and then on declared annual income.

Mitsotakis said roughly 200,000 households will receive the bonus this year, before Christmas, ticking off a list that includes the long-term unemployed, large families and families with children with special needs, said the business newspaper Naftemporiki in a report.