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Staikouras, Ypourgeio Oikonomikon, YPOIK
Φωτο: Menelaos Myrillas / SOOC

Fin Min Staikouras: Greek economy to grow by 5.3% in 2022

Staikouras said that the available fiscal space in 2022 is fully used by the heating allowance, cost-of-living benefit and electricity subsidies. However, he added, "we have set aside 'supplies' to deal with emergency situations as well".

The number of beneficiaries of the heating allowance is expanding, after the increase of the total amount to 300 million euros from 174 million euros in the last period, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Monday in an interview with public broadcaster ERT1. According to the minister, the income criteria for eligibility have increased to 16,000 euros per year from 14,000 euros for those that are single and to 24,000 euros from 20,000 euros for couples, increased by 3,000 euros for each child.

The minister said that the fund that will be allocated for pensioners amounts to 1.1 billion euros. Asked about the possibility of subsidising natural gas, he stated that it is under consideration, pending decisions at the European level.

Staikouras said that the available fiscal space in 2022 is fully used by the heating allowance, cost-of-living benefit and electricity subsidies. However, he added, "we have set aside 'supplies' (the budget execution course and cash reserves of around 38 billion euros) to deal with emergency situations as well".

He concluded by noting that, based on the latest figures, Greek GDP is to increase this year by 5.3% (up from a budget forecast of 3.1%) versus a European average of 3.1%, while in 2023 economic growth will be 2.1%, against a 0.9% European average.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced on Monday that the income thresholds for granting the heating oil subsidy will be significantly increased as well as the basis for its calculation. Specifically, the income threshold for single people is increasing to 16,000 euros from the 14,000 euros that applied last year and to 24,000 euros from 20,000 euros for couples, with an increase of 3,000 euros for each child. At the same time, the base amount for the calculation of heating degree days is increased to 350 euros from 300 euros last year.

The allowance will be doubled for the beneficiaries who previously heated their homes with electricity and natural gas and switch to heating oil, with the base amount for heating degree days set to 700 euros. There will also be a horizontal reduction of 25 cents per litre for heating oil.

Regarding the allowance of 250 euros that will be granted in December, this will be given to:

  • 1.0 million pensioners, compared to 634,000 in April, with a monthly income of 800 euros compared to 600 euros in April.
  • 35,000 uninsured elderly of the Organisation for Welfare Benefits and Social Solidarity (OPEKA),
  • 172,000 beneficiaries of the disability allowance,
  • 225,000 beneficiaries of the minimum guaranteed income will see a double payment
  • 800,000 OPEKA child benefit beneficiaries will see an additional 1.5 installments

Beneficiaries of the "Recycle-Swap Device" programme are also increasing by 200,000 at a cost of 140 million euros.

Moreover, 250,000 farmers will be subsidised for the increased cost of fertilisers, at a cost of 60 million euros, and 50,000 breeders will be subsidised for the increased cost of animal feed, at a cost of 89 million euros.

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