Tsipras promises cheaper fuel, cites implementation of fare subsidization program for isle residents

Wednesday, 05 December 2018 17:38
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised cheaper fuel pointed to the implementation of a passenger and freight fare subsidy for the permanent residents of certain islands - beginning next month - speaking on Wednesday from the eastern Aegean island of Kalymnos.

In unveiling another welfare spending pledge, and with general elections now less than a year away, Tsipras said the fuel subsidy will apply on a pilot basis for "small and remote" islands, while ticking off an outlay of 570 million euros through 2021.

General elections in Greece must be held no later than October 2019.

The other program, which subsidizes fares for permanent residences and freight shipped to and from Greece's Aegean islands to the mainland, will commence on Jan. 1, 2019. The measure had been announced in the wake of a harmonization (upwards) of VAT rates on several islands with the rest of Greece in 2016 and 2017.

Tsipras travelled to the Dodecanese island, well known in past decades for its sponge divers and harvesting, to inaugurate another merchant marine academy, the 11th in the country. He had promised that his government would establish such a tertiary institute during a visit a year ago to the same island.

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