NEWS

Samaras to hold coalition talks over contentious tax bill

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has called for a meeting with coalition leaders and Finance Ministry officials to settle a dispute over some aspects of the new tax law.

Samaras is expected to hold talks with several ministers on Tuesday after concerns were expressed by New Democracy’s coalition partners, PASOK and Democratic Left, about some aspects of the bill.

Government sources, meanwhile, denied reports that the Finance Ministry has proposed to raise tax on annual incomes above 26,000 euros to 45 percent.

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos said this would turn society in its entirety against the government.

“People cannot pay this. We need to find alternatives,” said Democratic Left spokesman Andreas Papadopoulos. “There is no way the tax bill will reach Parliament in its current form.”

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is due to meet representatives of the two parties on Wednesday to discuss the matter. Samaras is also expected to meet with Venizelos and Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis.

Democratic Left is likely to propose higher taxes on property and deposits as a way of avoiding such high income tax on a relatively low wage bracket.

Online