Parliament on Tuesday approved the government’s new tax bill, which Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said will define his administration’s credentials as a patron of a “productive middle class.”
Speaking before the vote on the bill, Mitsotakis said his government seeks a “renaissance of the productive middle class” and that it aims to “liberate productive forces” so that wealth is created that all Greeks can share in.
The bill, which passed with the votes of the ruling center-right New Democracy party, leftist SYRIZA, the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) alliance and far-right Greek Solution, includes sweeping cuts to the highly unpopular property tax and a “very generous repayment scheme” for tax and social security contribution arrears.
Mitsotakis lavished praise on the bill’s social dimension, which he insisted will ease the burden on millions of people.
More specifically, he said that 4 million Greeks would soon benefit from the cuts to the property tax, whose annual budget cost is estimated at around 205 million euros. “No one will be exempted from this generous relief,” he said, referring to the property tax cuts, which could in certain cases reach up to 30 percent.
In a dig at the previous SYRIZA government, Mitsotakis said that the cuts are a “strong response to those who said they would abolish [the property tax] but went on to increase it instead.”
Meanwhile the new arrears repayment plan entails up to 120 monthly installments for a larger pools of debtors.
In some cases the minimum monthly repayment will be as low as 20 euros, while discounts are offered to those who pay in larger tranches.
Mitsotakis also urged debtors to “take advantage of a very generous repayment scheme” as it will be their last chance, given that stricter terms will be attached to future schemes.
The prime minister denounced his critics in the opposition, saying that they are using an “old school of thinking and thus cannot comprehend the way we operate.”