ATHENS – In another reneging especially repugnant to his alleged Radical Left SYRIZA, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, in further surrender to international creditors, is cutting heating oil subsidies to the poor by 50 percent.
Tsipras had promised to protect workers, pensioners and the most vulnerable in society when he took office in January, 2015 before abandoning them to satisfy the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) that is putting up 86 billion euros ($101.5 billion) he said he would never seek nor accept but did both.
Besides more pension cuts he said, stepping over a “Red Line,” he said he would never cross and breaking his vow of “Not another euro in austerity,” he authorized taxes on low-and-middle income families and now the heating oil subsidy cut with winter setting in.
Previous cuts have led many Greek poor to burn wood, plastic, construction debris and use charcoal indoors, resulting in some deaths while many others just shiver, unable to pay for oil and without a fireplace.
The heating oil subsidy budget cuts, with only 55 million euros ($64.92 million) approved for this season, means thousands of people will lose the benefit, many with no where else to turn for help.
The heating oil subsidy this season will be allocated for purchases of heating oil between mid October to the end of April, affecting northern mountainous regions, the business newspaper Naftemporiki said.
As in previous years, eligible beneficiaries are households with low annual income and low-valued or non-existent property holdings.
In November, some 35,000 euros ($41,310) was raised during a charity concert in Brussels for the International Foundation for Greece to provide heating fuel to schools in remote villages in northern Greece.