“Minimum Guaranteed Income” for 700,000 persons

The implementation of the “Minimum Guaranteed Income” (MGI) measure is the most important social reform, Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said on Tuesday during the MGI presentation attended by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Government Vice-President and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos.

According to AMNA, the crisis has revealed in the most obvious way the distortions, the gaps and the contradictions of the social protection system in Greece, Vroutsis noted, adding that the system was inefficient and incomplete both socially and economically. The MGI comes to give an answer to all these issues, he added.

The implementation of the measure will start on a pilot basis in 13 municipalities and will cover a 7 percent of the population, that is 700,000 persons.

“Today is a special moment because the greatest social reform in the country that is changing what we have known about the social state is presented. It is an innovative measure that is the pillar of the social solidarity of tomorrow,” Vroutsis underlined.

On his part, Samaras stressed that “today we are launching in Greece a tool of social policy for the protection of the weakest, for the fight against poverty and the reintegration of those who risk being left out.”

This was made possible, Samaras said “with the surpluses of the country and the fact that Greece can cover its social needs on its own.” He also noted that the government is putting things forward, which were unthinkable until some time ago, when they ought to have been done, and that reforms make the country more efficient and fairer. “Social justice promotes development and consolidates democracy in our country,” the prime minister said.

In his speech, Venizelos stressed that Greece is turning the page and the country is reorganised in the post-memorandum era.

The “Minimum Guaranteed Income” will soon produce results, he said and added: “But this is the minimum, it is not enough. Our policies for the ΄help at home΄ programme, for the homeless and the unemployed lay the foundations so that the “Minimum Guaranteed Income” brings results. The change in the employment level affects the sustainability of the pension system. The development will be geometric as long as we are united and determined to turn a page.”