Young Greeks offered €150 to get Covid vaccine

Government hopes incentive will kick-start economy ahead of summer tourist season

Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrives for the second day of a EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium June 25, 2021. Aris Oikonomou/Pool via REUTERS

Young Greeks will be offered €150 ($179) as an incentive to get a Covid-19 vaccine as the government looks to kick-start its tourism-reliant economy.

From July 15, Greek citizens under the age of 26 will be given €150 in credit in a digital wallet after their first dose.

Those funds are then available for spending in specified areas of the Greek tourism and entertainment sectors, Cabinet minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis said.

The €150 can be spent on buying air, ferry and rail tickets, car rental, campsites, holiday accommodation, museums and archaeological sites, and cinema, theatre, music and dance performances.

“We hope that young people will take advantage of this opportunity. The state thanks you for acting responsibly and doing something that I am certain you would have done anyway,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

But he warned that the Delta variant first reported in India was “threatening us all” with fears of a new wave in autumn.

“The young are the ones who can put a stop to it by stepping up their vaccinations,” he said.

A total of 3.6 million Greeks over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, with 100,000 receiving a shot a day.

Nearly 48 per cent of the 10.7 million population is expected to be fully inoculated by the end of July, officials estimate.

The government is expected to announce additional freedom for vaccination certificate holders in the coming days, although the details are still be finalised.