‘Sol­i­dar­ity’ cards boost turnover at food stores

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - ROULA SALOUROU

Su­per­mar­kets, bak­ers and other food stores have en­joyed an un­ex­pected up­turn in sales vol­umes since late July, amount­ing to al­most 10 mil­lion eu­ros over an 11-day pe­riod, thanks to the “sol­i­dar­ity cards” that the La­bor and So­cial Sol­i­dar­ity Min­istry has is­sued to re­cip­i­ents of state ben­e­fits as a part of the gov­ern­ment’s pro­gram to tackle the hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis.

The chip-and-PIN card – is­sued by Na­tional Bank – is pre­paid and is cred­ited ev­ery month with 70 to 200 eu­ros, depend­ing on fam­ily size, in­come and prop­erty cri­te­ria. It can be used for the pur­chase of food at stores bear­ing the Mastercard sign, such as su­per­mar­kets, butch­ers, bak­ers etc.

The re­sponse to the plan has ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions as card users boosted the turnover at food stores by 9.47 mil­lion eu­ros from July 24 to Au­gust 3. This has likely ex­ceeded 11 mil­lion by now, ac­cord­ing to min­istry es­ti­mates. A to­tal of 145,359 cards have been dis­trib­uted.

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