Gov't to ease up on receipts and debts to state

The omnibus bill due to be submitted to Parliament on Friday foresees greater protection for taxpayers who owe money to the state, while also reducing fines for some tax-related offenses.

According to the multi-bill’s provisions, the state will not be able to seize any part of salaries or pensions that are below 1,500 euros per month to recover debts. The current threshold is 1,000 euros. The state will also not be able to repossess homes or other assets if the taxpayer’s debt is less than 500 euros.

The government is also seeking to reduce fines for the self-employed. They currently face a fine of 1,000 euros for failing to issue receipts. This will be slashed to 250 euros if the bill is passed. The maximum that any freelancer can be fined per inspection is to be 30,000 euros.

The legislation also allows banks that are majority-owned by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund to launch share capital issues at market prices, even if they are lower than previous recapitalizations.

The multi-bill also contains a range of liberalization measures. For instance, almost all restrictions, including geographical and shop size, on the opening of pharmacies are to be removed. Pharmacists will also be able to obtain more than one license to open a store.

Pharmacists are currently on an indefinite strike in protest at the liberalization measures. Only around 50 of some 3,500 pharmacies in Attica opened on Thursday.