The Greek parliament announced on Friday that it is “adopting” the two children of Giorgos Baltadoros, the pilot of the Mirage 2000-5 jet that crashed into the Aegean on Thursday.
In practice this means that Baltadoros’ widow and the two children will receive €18,000 ($22,000) until the children become adults or until the age of 25 if they study at an institute of higher education.
Parliament’s move is a token of the nation’s debt to the family of the pilot who lost his life defending the territorial integrity of Greece.
However, in reality, lawmakers are compensating for the inadequate provisions currently in place for the next-of-kin of fallen Greek personnel.
Speaking earlier on Greek TV, Giorgos Romanias, a respected labor-law expert, said that based on the salary of Baltadoros — who was earning €1,180 a month — his wife will be receiving €400 per month.
Romanias slammed the state for rewarding “with peanuts” a man who was in control of a $50-million plane and gave his life for Greece.
He called on the government to review pay towards members of the Greek armed forces and raise the stipend for next-of-kin.
The revelation is bound to anger many Greeks who believe that the state should do more to help those who died defending their country and their dependents.
By contrast, Turkey pays higher salaries to its air force pilots.
According to a former Turkish military source speaking anonymously, Ankara pays its pilots around 8,000 liras (approximately €1,600) as a basic salary.
This amount goes up with the amount of hours flown, and can reach double the base salary if a pilot is flying regular missions.
The next-of-kin of Turkish pilots ‘martyred’ in the line of duty receive government payments and benefits for children under the age of 18, such as educational support.