ATHENS – Greek households and residents overwhelmed with soaring energy costs, and inflation raising the price of heavily-taxed basic needs – including food – will get more state assistance.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was expected to announce additional government measures to combat retail price hikes in a TV address on March 16, ahead of their being presented the next day, said Kathimerini.
Those were said to include helping deal with the cost of fuels such as gasoline but aimed only at the most vulnerable groups, using income criteria and other means to target only them.
While the New Democracy government early in the COVID-19 pandemic that’s now in a third year pumped in 17.5 billion euros ($19.27 billion) in assistance, there was concern whether it could continue with subsidies.
That was partially alleviated with a report showing the country’s primary surplus – which doesn’t include the cost of social security, state enterprises, interest on staggering debt and 326 billion euros ($358.9 billion) in three international bailouts, military expenditures and the cost of running cities and towns – hit 847 million euros ($932.48) so far this year.
The government had expected a deficit of 239 million euros ($263.12 million) and was pleasantly surprised with the news that an economic recovery is starting to accelerate as COVID health restrictions are being eased even more now.