Greek Govt Presents Bill to Address Humanitarian Crisis



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The Greek Accounting Office has received the government’s bill to address the humanitarian crisis, which is the first to be tabled by newly elected SYRIZA. The bill includes measures for feeding, housing and providing electricity to households classified as “very poor,” and is expected to be tabled in Parliament before the weekend.

According to the bill, free electricity of up to 300kWh will be provided to 300,000 households, which either had their electricity supply disconnected or are unable to pay their bills, with priority given to those who live “in extreme poverty.” Free electricity will also include reconnection to the grid and refers to cases where power supply was cut off by the end of January 2015. Similarly, some 30,000 households are expected to receive rent subsidies, with the grant covering mainly new leases and the renewal of older ones, while it is expected to reach 70 euros per month per person and 220 euros per month per family. Priority will be given to families with young children, residing in urban areas.

Furthermore, the bill includes a feeding program for another 300,000 families in the form of discount coupons or other electronic means. It will take into account the tax returns and income of beneficiaries from each source. In the case of unemployed who do not receive benefits, their formal declaration will be required.

“Before the institutions, come the needs of people, comes the need to address the humanitarian crisis that has been caused by the Memoranda,” Greece’s Deputy Health Minister Dimitris Stratoulis said in an interview to Greek ANT1 TV, adding that the program’s funding is irrelevant to any negotiation the government is currently holding.