The government yesterday announced that it is expanding the base of beneficiaries of its package of economic measures to support those who are being harmed by the dual public health and economic crisis.

That decision was necessary and urgent as there is widespread and intense concern about the fact that the economic repercussions of the crisis will far outlast the measures restricting the movement of citizens in public places.

Such concerns will be confirmed and will burgeon if the hawks of the EU impose their views on how the crisis should be managed, in which case Greece will be forced to walk on a deadly tightrope.

Clearly, the government has no choice but to support suffering citizens, but eventually that will be well nigh impossible without the support and solidarity of Greece’s EU partners.

A country that has been decimated by a decade-long economic depression has little room for expansive economic policies, especially when at the same time it is burdened by weighty obligations to creditors as regards its economic indices.

Now is not the time for strict economic discipline.

This is an hour when the welfare of human beings must come first.

Protecting the citizenry is a fundamental objective of contemporary democracies, and that protection is not limited ensuring public health.

It extends to any and every danger that threatens to stem an unprecedented and swift plunge in the standard of living.

It involves protection from poverty and galloping unemployment and from policies that view the citizen as a mere number.