Residents of mountain communities are to receive additional aid to help cover higher heating bills as fuel costs rise and winter bites, cabinet decided on Wednesday.
The decision applies to people living in communities 600 metres above sea level. It will benefit 19,000 individuals or 7,500 households in 110 mountain communities and will cost the state €2.1m.
The emergency aid will be equivalent to 50 per cent of the annual grant paid out in 2021 and is intended to support residents of mountain and underprivileged areas because of costlier fuel and the difficult weather conditions, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said after the cabinet meeting.
“In this way, the president of the Republic and the Council of Ministers show in a clear way their interest in mountain areas,” he added.
Describing the grant as “extremely important and generous”, Nouris said that a retired couple living at an altitude of 800 to 1000 metres who would normally receive a €395 grant, will for 2022 receive an additional one-off €198.
A young couple with three children also living in a community at an altitude of 800 to 100 metres receiving €1,050, will get an additional €525, he added.
The amounts in the scheme depend on the altitude of the community, the size of the household and whether beneficiaries are retired.
The three categories as regards the altitude are 600 to 800 metres, 800 to 1000 metres and above 1001 metres. One person households with a pensioner will receive an additional €130, €155 and €173 respectively, while a household with two pensioners will get an extra €173, €198 and €215.
For a couple (non-retired) with two children the extra money is €418, €443 and €460 and for a couple with three children an extra one-off grant of €500, €525 and €543.