The Greek Finance Ministry says almost 23 percent of the country’s pensioners and employees lived under the poverty level last year.
Over a million of 4,800, 000 workers and pensioners in the heavily debt - ridden country had an annual income of less than €6,000($7,940) in 2012, Greek dailyEthnos reported on Tuesday, citing the latest figures from the ministry. Last year’s poverty line stood at €7,178 ($9,500) for a one-person Greek family. The average annual revenues declared by all of the 4.8 million workers and pensioners fell by 17.8 percent to €14,640 ($19,380) in 2012, while average taxes reached €1,654 ($2,190), up 52 percent from €1,091 ($1,444) in 2011. On July 17, Greek lawmakers passed a deeply resented austerity bill tied to the country's next tranche of loans from foreign creditors. One of the measures of the new law, which details the redeployment of civil servants and has sparked nationwide strikes and protest rallies, would place 4,200 workers, including school guards and teachers, on an eight-month suspension with reduced pay starting this month. By the end of this year, 25,000 civil servants must be redeployed and an additional 4,000 fired under the terms of the new bailout agreement between the Greek government and the troika of international lenders -- the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. The new agreement, which was reached earlier this month, would release €6.8 billion ($8.7 billion) in rescue loans. Athens was granted a 110-billion-euro ($145 billion) bailout by the troika in May 2010. Another 130-billion-euro ($170 billion) rescue package was approved in February 2012. Greece, which is in its sixth straight year of recession, has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis, and the harsh austerity measures adopted by the Greek government have put about half a million people out of work.