ATHENS – More benefits are coming from the New Democracy government that faces a re-election campaign in 2023, with a 7.75 percent raise in basic pensions kicking in on Jan. 1.
Pensions had been slashed in 2010 when Greece began getting what turned into three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($347.11 billion) that came with harsh austerity measures targeting workers, the elderly and poor.
The raise had been announced on several occasions by the government, including by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, along with elimination of a hated solidarity tax that took money from paychecks to give to the more vulnerable.
Any differences between the introductory report accompanying the 2023 national budget and the data reported by the Hellenic Statistical Authority will be taken into account in calculations, the government has said.
The differences relate to variations in the annual percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and in the annual average of the General Consumer Price Index said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANA-MPA.
The raise in basic monthly paychecks will affect 1,724,713 pensioners. Of these, 80-85 percent will see an exact raise of 7.75 percent, while the majority of the rest will see paychecks higher by 7 percent, depending on individual pension calculations.
Besides the upcoming raise, other changes implemented recently have affected paychecks as follows:
-912,644 pensioners saw raises because the special solidarity tax was cancelled
-1,206,624 pensioners received an emergency bonus of 250 euros ($266.14)
-231,655 pensioners were beneficiaries of the 4th annual increase outlined in the so-called Vroutsis Law insurance adjustments.
The government has said that 94.6 percent of pensioners will also see one, two, or three raises in their monthly checks.
More than 1.3 million pensioners will see two increases; 1 in 2 pensioners will receive at least an extra pension check; and 83 percent will also see increases following the cancellation of the special solidarity tax and the bonus of 250 euros.