The Reuters website reports today (April 26, 2012) that Greece has stopped various benefits -- including pensions to 200,000 people who lied to get their monthly checks or were getting checks of dead relatives -- a Greek Labor Ministry official said yesterday.
Debt-laden Athens discovered the fraud after beginning basic data cross checks and means-testing, under pressure from its international lenders to cut its deficits.
The Greek government terminated payments to families that continued to receive the pensions of their dead seniors. It also stopped benefits to wealthy recipients who had posed as poor to become eligible.
The cuts -- implemented gradually since last September -- will generate savings of up to 800 million euros ($1.06 billion) annually, the Labor Ministry official said.
Greece's generous welfare state and bloated public sector have been blamed as root causes behind a debt load that is about 1.6 times the country's economic output.