Greeks who have suffered during the seven-year debt crisis will have something to look forward to. The government is planning handouts worth €1bn.
The leftist-led government is calling it a “social dividend”.
“The surplus outperformance which will be distributed to social groups that have suffered the biggest pressure during the financial crisis, will be close to €1bn,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told reporters.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Tzanakopoulos was referring to Greece’s expected return to nearly 2% growth this year and achieve a primary surplus – which excludes debt servicing costs – o f 2.2% of gross domestic product, outpeforming the 1.75% bailout target.
Hundreds of thousands of Greeks have lost their jobs during a six-year recession that cut more than a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product.
Officials, however, have yet to make known who will eligible for it.
The rate of unemployment currently hovers at 21.3% and youth unemployment at 42.8%.
The government will make final decisions in late November, once it gets full-year budget data, Tzanakopoulos said.
Greece’s fiscal performance this year and its 2018 budget is expected to be discussed with representatives from its European Union lenders and the International Monetary Fund next week when a crucial review of its bailout progress starts.
Tzanakopoulos reiterated that Athens aims to wrap up the review as soon as possible, ruling out new austerity measures.
Greece exceeded its goal for a primary budget surplus in 2015 and 2016. Last December, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras unexpectedly announced a one-off Christmas bonus to pensioners, angering foreign creditors.