Minister says a bonus could be given to low-income earners next year if there is surplus

28 December 2016
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Minister of State Alekos Flambouraris said on Wednesday that the government will try again next year to grant a Christmas bonus to low-income earners if there is a surplus.
“We will try again next year to give to the weaker if there is a surplus,” he told Antenna TV.

The government’s unilateral decision to give low-income pensioners a one-off Christmas bonus without consulting Greece’s international creditors had led to a freeze on short-term debt relief measures by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which said the move violated the terms of the country’s bailout.

The relief measures were unlocked last week after Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos sent a letter to creditors saying that the bonus was a one-off measure, pledging that it would not be repeated in the future.

In the letter, the finance minister appeared to address concerns that the SYRIZA government may be defying its commitments in order to pander to voters with explanations over the issues that caused the rift and fresh pledges.

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