Saturday May 30, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Samaras targets end to solidarity tax

The scrapping or reduction of the solidarity tax and possibly the lowering of value-added tax (VAT) are at the core of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s strategy for the months ahead, which will also determine if Greece will go to early general elections.

Sources told Kathimerini that Samaras would like to reduce or abolish the solidarity tax, an extraordinary levy on income introduced at the beginning of 2011, as of the beginning of 2015. If possible he would also like to lower VAT. Samaras would like to announce these measures at the Thessaloniki International Fair in September and then implement them from January 1.

The prime minister believes that the lightening of the tax burden on Greeks, particularly the middle classes, will be a key factor in determining support for the government as it will also signal the start of emergency fiscal measures introduced during the crisis being gradually lifted. Scrapping the solidarity tax would also prevent the government having to face a tricky vote in Parliament next year. The levy is due to expire at the end of this year and any plans to keep it in place would need MPs’ approval.

If the government can avoid renewing the solidarity tax, it is likely that Samaras will seek a confidence vote in Parliament. This could force independent MPs, as well as those within the weakened Democratic Left (DIMAR) and Independent Greeks to pick sides ahead of SYRIZA attempting to force national elections over the nomination for the successor to President Karolos Papoulias, whose tenure ends in February.

The government’s ability to scrap the solidarity tax depends to a large extent on how debt relief talks with the eurozone progress later this year and what view the troika takes on Greece’s public finances at that time. The International Monetary Fund approved on Friday the release of another 3.4-billion-euro loan for Greece but also stressed that the country’s fiscal adjustment needs to continue.

“Additional fiscal adjustment is necessary to ensure debt sustainability, through durable, high-quality measures, while strengthening the social safety net,” said Naoyuki Shinohara, the IMF’s deputy managing director. “It is essential that the authorities continue to improve tax collection, combat evasion and strengthen expenditure control.”

Shinohara also expressed concern about some weaknesses in the Greek economy. “Despite significant wage adjustment, export performance remains comparatively weak. The redoubling of efforts to liberalize product and service markets is therefore welcome,” he said.

“Addressing the very high level of nonperforming loans remains an important priority,” added the IMF official. “While there is no acute stability risk, it is critical for the economic recovery that banks be adequately capitalized upfront to recognize losses on the basis of realistic assumptions about loan recovery.”

ekathimerini.com , Saturday May 31, 2014 (16:41)  
Greece, creditors seek breakthrough as clock runs down
Coast Guard officials linked to migrant traffickers
Civil aviation union cancels action on minister’s pledge
4.2-magnitude quake strikes off Crete
Greek credit contraction amounted to 2.4 pct in April
Credit expansion remained in negative territory last month as it contracted by 2.4 percent in April, according to data released on Friday by the Bank of Greece. In March the decline had come...
Export-oriented firms benefit from euro rate
The favorable shift in the exchange rate of the euro against the US dollar has led to the creation of two categories among Greek listed companies, as those who export their products to dolla...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Wemmer pens three-year deal with Panathinaikos
German defender Jens Wemmer has signed a three-year contract for an undisclosed sum with Panathinaikos, the Greek Super League club announced on Friday. Right-back Wemmer, 29, has been playi...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos conquers PAOK through Tavlaridis goal
A Stathis Tavlaridis goal has brought Panathinaikos to practically within one point from clinching a spot in next season’s Champions League qualifiers, as the Greens made it three out of thr...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Zenobia, Barbara, Christine and the general’s daughter
ATHENS – Lovely Palmyra has fallen to the zombie horde and its people are being slaughtered as the ancient city awaits its fate. It is Friday, May 22, 2015, and from my window I see the end-...
INTERVIEW
The eurozone’s ‘ambiguous’ architecture
“That’s not something you’re supposed to say in public, right?” In his humble way, Thomas Sargent, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, tries to avoid the question posed to him by Kathimerini re...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Wemmer pens three-year deal with Panathinaikos
2. Greek credit contraction amounted to 2.4 pct in April
3. Export-oriented firms benefit from euro rate
4. VAT hike would put several Athens hotels at risk
5. ATHEX: May ends with a rise of 0.3 pct
6. Greece, creditors seek breakthrough as clock runs down
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece creditors say no deal near as G-7 frustration vented
2. Only Greece can end its miserable 'Groundhog Day'
3. 12 Russians injured in lightning strike at ruins on Crete
4. Next Greek aid program isn’t on table yet, says Moscovici
5. Some blame EU Commission for Greek obstinacy in debt talks
6. The eurozone’s ‘ambiguous’ architecture
Today
This Week
1. Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
2. Some 300 mln left banks on Tuesday
3. Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
4. No more 'quick and dirty' fixes for Greece
5. Romantic notions meet reality
6. Endless confusion and worry
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.