«Today we are taking a most important, meaningful and historic step by proposing a constitutional guarantee of the minimum guaranteed income», Labour and Social Protection Minister Yiannis Vroutsis declared today during the constitutional amendment debate in Parliament.
Vroutsis said the change constitutes a «flagship» measure for social protection and social rights that aims to strengthen and support the poorest members of society, who were devastated by the economic crisis.
«The economically weaker classes will acquire enhanced rights that for the first time will be enshrined in the constitution,” the minister declared.
He maintained that equality, proportionality, social rights and legal guarantees will be bolstered.
He noted that the minimum guaranteed income is currently received by 240,000 households and supports a total of 450,000 citizens.
These include 156,000 unemployed, 20,000 single-parent families, and over 56,000 households with children.
Vroutsis said that 236,000 of the recipient households have an annual income of less than 5,000 euros and 130,000 had no income at all.
An estimated 670 million euros will be disbursed this year, with the average being 213 euro per household.
Mitsotakis weighs in
Commenting on the constitutional amendment, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a tweet, «We are constitutionally guaranteeing a minimum income that will constitute 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,» the PM noted.