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Economy

Rising Tax Revenues May Bring Greeks Some Backdoor Relief

ATHENS –  Better-then-expected tax intake in Greece as the economy claws back during the COVID-19 pandemic has the Finance Ministry reversing course to say it could lead to some relief for hard-hit households.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras – who said there wasn’t enough money for more aid to help households beleaguered by rising costs for everything from food to energy – to say there now likely will be.

That’s based on May revenues, said Kathimerini, which said that despite rising electric bills and soaring costs across the board, including for food, that people are still paying their taxes, providing monies for potential state aid later.

Finance Ministry sources not named told the paper that after supermarket sales declined that they are coming back as people get used to the higher prices, including for gasoline.

If money can be found, the paper said that the New Democracy government will likely use it to continue subsidies up to 50 euros ($53.47) for gasoline purchases, a pittance compared to the higher costs.

Other aid would go toward a trasport subsidy to cover shipping passengers and goods to islands but it wasn’t said if further assistance would go directly to households and the most vulnerable as the scenario keeps shifting.

But either way, the government is counting on people paying their taxes and using some of that money to send back aid, with an eye on elections coming in 2023 and eager to appease voters struggling to cope.

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