Relief measures approved by Greek MPs to be disbursed over coming days

Some 1 billion euros in pension handouts and other relief measures are to be disbursed over the coming week as the Greek government makes a last-ditch attempt to boost the ratings of leftist SYRIZA ahead of European and local authority elections next weekend.

The so-called 13th pension, one of a series of handouts unveiled by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last week and approved by MPs on Wednesday, is to be paid out to some 2.5 million pensioners imminently, while bonuses for large families and rent subsidies are to be given to more than 60,000 households between May 20 and 25, just before the May 26 elections.

Meanwhile a new scheme allowing the settlement of debts to the state, social security funds and local authorities in up to 120 installments is to come into operation over the next few days.

Even cuts to value-added tax on a range of goods and services...

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