The European Commission recognises the difficulties faced by the Greek people due to the extended economic crisis, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said, in reply to a letter by European Parliament Vice-President Dimitris Papadimoulis and four MEPs.
“The Commission’s commitment to improving the system of social support for the Greek people, who have experienced great difficulties after a deep and prolonged economic crisis, is continuous and vigilant,” Dombrovskis said, adding that “since the start of the current European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme, the Commission has paid particular attention to the social justice of the reform agenda.”
He also underlined that “the Commission carried out a social impact assessment at the start of the programme in 2015. This assessment concluded that, if fully implemented, the ESM stability support programme would help Greece to return to stability and growth in an economically and socially sustainable way, while at the same time helping to address the most pressing social needs and challenges.”
Dombrovskis stressed that the Commission was the driving force behind important measures taken in the context of the programme to strengthen social policies and protect the most vulnerable groups. Regarding the social hand-out, Dombrovskis said that this measure is the first in Greece that has created a basic universal social safety net. Approximately 500,000 Greeks have already benefited, while the measure will be extended to another 250,000 in the near future, or roughly 7 pct of the population when fully deployed.
At the same time, he reiterated that the Commission continues to make maximum efforts to strengthen a system of education and vocational training that can help reintegrate Greek citizens into the labour market in a sustainable way.