Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Monday announced that the ministry expects to pay up to 48 million euro less for welfare benefits in 2011, relative to previous years.
Loverdos announced that the new deputy minister Markos Bolaris will be exclusively in charge of welfare, and all welfare payments made by various ministries will be collected together and handled by the health ministry.
Based on the initial figures that have been gathered, the sums paid out will be significantly reduced because several people were still receiving welfare benefits to which they were not entitled.

Health ministry officials said that there would be a rationalisation and re-examination of benefits, if necessary, and the ministry will also look into the possibility that some people were receiving benefits without having submitted or renewed the necessary supporting documentation.