Greece's new ruling party, Syriza, used its first legislative act in parliament to confront what it refers to as the country’s “humanitarian crisis,” offering free food and electricity to the most impoverished.
As the rest of the world looks on and speculates over the left-wing government's economic deals with Europe, Syriza is pressing on with its planned social reforms, demonstrating it is honoring its pre-election pledges.
"The deep recession due to austerity policies and the economic crisis in the past six years had a dramatic social impact," said the bill, which was tabled late Tuesday. "This draft law aims at tackling the humanitarian crisis through measures which ensure access to basic goods."
The crisis to which the bill refers was created, in part, by years of harsh austerity measures, leaving many Greeks out of work and on the poverty line.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that it was his government's “foremost duty” to eradicate that damage that austerity has caused, while remaining committed to balancing the budget.
Under the new bill, some 300,000 Greeks will receive food vouchers, while families with young children will have priority for restored electricity.
A poll released this month revealed that Syriza has seen its approval ratings leap over 10 percent since snap elections in January.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced Saturday that Greece is considering implementing an “extraordinary tax” on the wealthy in order to help balance the budgets. Greece’s economy is a key worry for those who feel that Syriza cannot fulfill its social promises while honoring the country’s debt program.