Greek government promises new holiday payments for poor
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s prime minister says his government will again distribute one-off Christmas payments to low-earning Greeks, drawing from a budgetary surplus built on severe spending cuts and high taxes.
Alexis Tsipras says 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) will be given to at least 3.4 million Greeks this holiday season, compared to the 617 million euros issued to pensioners last year.
In a televised address late Monday, Tsipras said the bonuses would range from 240 to 900 euros per beneficiary and come from an expected 1.75 percent primary budget surplus. The figure excludes debt servicing costs.
Greece’s finances have been under scrutiny from bailout creditors since 2010. It was unclear whether creditors have approved the new round of Christmas payments.
Tsipras’ government is trailing the main opposition conservatives in opinion polls.