Tuesday April 21, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o 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)  
Juncker urges Greece to step up effort in debt talks
UN urges Europe to put asylum at center of Mediterranean debate
More than 120 migrants reach Greek shores, a day after fatal sinking
Greek municipalities outraged by state move to use funds
Dijssebloem expects deal with Greece in coming weeks
The head of the Eurogroup said on Tuesday that he expects Greece and its creditors to strike a new deal in the coming weeks and warned that its exit from the eurozone would lead to instabili...
Euro-area debt levels surge to record, led by Greece
Government debt in the euro area surged to the highest levels since the introduction of the single currency, underscoring the challenges still confronting the 19-nation bloc as it wrestles w...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Panathinaikos recovers to beat CSKA for 2-1
Three-pointer master Panathinaikos had the last laugh at the end of Game 3 of its series with CSKA Moscow on Monday winning 86-85 and reducing the Russians' lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five p...
GYMNASTICS
Petrounias wins gold in Europeans
Lefteris Petrounias won his first gold medal in a European Artistic Gymnastics Championship on Saturday finishing first in the rings at Montpellier in France. Petrounias was impeccable in th...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
IMF needs to correct its big Greek bailout mistake
The Greek government's mounting financial woes are leading it to contemplate the unthinkable: defaulting on a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Instead of demanding repayment and fu...
COMMENTARY
Tragedy in the Mediterranean
Every time we in the West see yet another video of an atrocity committed by Islamic State or Boko Haram and express our abhorrence, and every time we are shocked to read of a boatload of mig...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Dijssebloem expects deal with Greece in coming weeks
2. Juncker urges Greece to step up effort in debt talks
3. UN urges Europe to put asylum at center of Mediterranean debate
4. More than 120 migrants reach Greek shores, a day after fatal sinking
5. Greek municipalities outraged by state move to use funds
6. EU proposes doubling rescue effort, schedules crisis meeting on Thursday
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek government's popularity takes a hit as talks drag on
2. Tragedy in the Mediterranean
3. Two men accused of migrant smuggling face prosecutor over deadly shipwreck
4. No ferries on Labor Day as seamen take industrial action
5. Silence is not an option
6. ECB studying curbs on Greek bank support
Today
This Week
1. Quarantine for Greek bank subsidiaries in neighboring countries
2. Greek finance ministry hits back at German newspaper report
3. Time to get serious
4. Putting off payments led to Q1 budget primary surplus
5. Obama calls for flexibility in Greek reform talks in brief exchange with Varoufakis
6. Greece denies report that it is preparing for debt default
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.