Thursday Jul 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Tax law a new obstacle

 As coalition bristles, Stournaras says measures could change but targets are fixed

The tax bill due to be submitted to Parliament soon is proving a new source of friction for the coalition government, prompting Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras to show a degree of flexibility on Friday in accepting that some aspects could be changed, although he stressed that any alterations would have to be matched by equivalent revenue-raising measures.

Leaving a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Stournaras faced a barrage of questions regarding the most controversial change to the tax system, which abolishes breaks for families with children. “There is always room for maneuver,” he said, but added that there are 2.5 billion euros of revenue-raising measures to be implemented and if some are scrapped, the equivalent amount would have to be derived from alternative taxes.

Coalition partners PASOK and Democratic Left have raised objections to families losing tax breaks that rise according to the number of children they have. The new law would hit families with three children or more particularly hard. A family with three children that earns 25,000 euros pays 2,970 euros a year in income tax, whereas under the proposed scheme it would pay 3,650 euros. It would also lose about 1,000 euros a year in benefits, amounting to a 1,744-euro loss overall.

“Anyone who proposes something should be abolished has to suggest what would replace it,” said Stournaras, who added that Greece needs to retain its trustworthiness in the eyes of its lenders since it has “agreed and voted on these things.”

Stournaras’s comment came a few hours after German lawmakers approved the debt deal for Greece agreed by the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund earlier this year. Although 23 lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition opposed the agreement, the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens backed the deal, giving it 473 of 584 votes.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said during the debate that a Greek default “could lead to the breakup of the eurozone” but he added that any talk of writing down Greek debt could be detrimental at this time. “If we say the debts will be written off, [Greece’s] willingness to make savings is correspondingly weakened,” he said. “Such false speculation does not solve the problems.”

For the Brussels deal to stand, Greece will need to execute a successful buyback of 30 to 40 billion euros of its bonds. Stournaras suffered an initial setback in his pursuit of this target on Thursday, when Greek banks, which hold about 15 billion euros of government bonds, expressed reluctance to take part in the scheme. However, the head of Greece’s main social security fund (IKA), Rovertos Spyropoulos, indicated on Friday that he would recommend to IKA’s board that the organization should take part in the buyback. “IKA’s interests are linked to the sustainability of the Greek economy,” he said. Greece’s social security funds hold at least 8 billion euros of government paper.

ekathimerini.com , Friday November 30, 2012 (20:00)  
Greek leaders mark 40th anniversary of the fall of the junta
Policeman among other eight arrested for antiquities trafficking
Council of State deems university reform plan legal
FYROM´s foreign minister does not see progress in name talks
Eurozone bonds yields rise on strong data, dulling QE prospects
Eurozone bond yields edged up on Thursday as investors saw better-than-expected economic data as quelling the need for the European Central Bank to loosen monetary policy further. Germany - ...
PPC approves $243 million wind investment in Greece
Public Power Corp., Greece’s biggest electricity provider, approved a 180 million euro ($243 million) investment for wind projects in the north of the country and a tender for a smaller faci...
Inside Business
TRACK & FIELD
Athens, the Marathon capital of the world for good
Paco Borao, the man who restored Athens as the Marathon capital of the world with the establishment at the Olympic Sports Center of the headquarters of the International Association of Marat...
TRACK & FIELD
Pole vault record on same day as three doping cases
Greek track and field had a mixed weekend, as on the same day as Katerina Stefanidi matched the national record in pole vault as well as the leading result in Europe so far this season, thre...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
When evaluation is seen as useless
The reactions toward the government’s plans for an evaluation of public sector workers are completely unsurprising. Civil servants – and not just the unions that represent them – abhor the m...
EDITORIAL
Playing the good guy
There is a part of the government that is striving to fulfill the commitments that Greece has undertaken toward its foreign creditors, most of which pertain to reforms that are absolutely es...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek leaders mark 40th anniversary of the fall of the junta
2. Policeman among other eight arrested for antiquities trafficking
3. Council of State deems university reform plan legal
4. FYROM´s foreign minister does not see progress in name talks
5. Rape and assault charges brought against 35-year-old
6. Thessaloniki man arrested again for blackmailing woman over alleged sex tape
more news
Today
This Week
1. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
2. Democracy 'retreated' during crisis, says Papoulias
3. Family of deceased woman on life support says application for 'special status' had been filed with PPC
4. Efforts continue on Crete to find 'Sifis' the crocodile
5. Medical assistance for Acropolis visitors
6. Presidential election will not lead to snap elections, Samaras tells ND deputies
Today
This Week
1. The cost of excellence
2. Ex-Credit Suisse banker taps lesson for Greek rebound
3. Greece seen in third bailout as bonds not enough, economists say
4. Climber dies in Mount Olympus fall
5. Greek banks able to tap investors after stress tests, HFSF Says
6. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.