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• There have been dramatic social consequences as a result of the austerity measures imposed by economic crisis MoU governments previously. All social indicators, such as poverty, particularly child poverty, unemployment, and youth unemployment worsened to unprecedented levels.
• According to ELSTAT, in mid-2014
o We reached an unemployment rate of 26.4% (ie 1,280,101 unemployed). Particularly for young people (15 to 24 age group) it reached 52%.
o The poverty in the country reached 23.1% of the population (with child poverty reaching 28.8%), affecting in particular single-parent households as well as large families, the economically inactive and the elderly.
• According to readily available information, there are households that are unable to meet their basic needs, as defined by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, with regard to food, shelter, energy.
• Aware of this tragic problem, the Greek government pledged to reverse this wholesale social disaster. For practical as well as symbolic reasons, the first bill being tabled in Parliament involves the humanitarian crisis.
• The Draft Law, which has been sent by the Ministry to the General Accounting Office and the legislative committee, is a first step in addressing the humanitarian crisis by legislating three facilities that will relieve our fellow citizens who are in extreme poverty and will contribute to employment and social reintegration, restoring, where possible, social cohesion.
• In determining beneficiaries, priority will be given to families with small children, to the unemployed and long-term unemployed, to tenants threatened with eviction, and to families whose income does not allow them access to basic goods.
• In this direction of trying to provide breathing room for households, three basic measures have been planned:
a) All interrupted electricity connections in primary residences will be restored without charge and with the provision of free electricity of up to 300khw until the end of the year.
All households currently living without electricity will benefit immediately from the measure.
b) There will a rent allowance for up to 30,000 households for 2015, with a possible extension to 2016. The subsidy will range from 70 to 220 euro per month and will not be considered taxable income for the owner of the property nor will it be liable to seizure for debts to credit institutions. By contrast, it could cover, netted, established debts to tax authorities and insurance organizations.
c) A food allowance for the purchase of basic food supplies for 300,000 people. The allowance will be given in the form of coupons or means of electronic purchase for those goods. The amount will vary depending on family size and will cover products from companies that want to cooperate. It is estimated that the program will also work to stimulate local markets, since businesses of all sizes can participate in this program.
• Joint Ministerial Decisions will further specify the first phase of implementation of the measures on the basis of concrete criteria and procedures in synergy with actions already being implemented or to be implemented in order to provide the maximum benefit.
• At the same time, a process of formulating a comprehensive framework for effective Social Solidarity and organized Social Welfare has begun, so as to set up finally the foundations of a welfare state that is modern, efficient, fair and simple, with proper procedures in place for meeting of real needs

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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