Greece’s Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Yiannis Vroutsis proposed a minimum income guarantee during a parliamentary debate on revising the constitution on Tuesday.
The minister announced that the proposal was a “flagship” measure offering social protection and social rights to the poorer sections of Greek society hardest hit by the economic crisis of the last decade.
“In this way, those that are weaker acquire an additional right and are, for the first time, visible in the constitutional order, while equality, proportionality and social rights and security are made stronger,” the minister told parliament.
Mr Vroutsis said that 240,000 households incorporating 450,000 individuals were benefiting from the minimum guaranteed income.
Of these, he said, 236,000 households were earning less than 5,000 euros a year and 130,000 had no income at all. He said the government would pay out about 670 million euros this year.
Commenting in a tweet, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said: “We are constitutionally guaranteeing a minimum income – that is a safety net for the weakest members of society.
“Based on the constitution, the Greek state will now ensure a decent quality of life for all citizens.