Sunday December 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o 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)  
Environment Ministry to reconsider controversial bill
Corfu to host country’s first hydroplane strip
Political upheaval sharpens after bribe claims with threats and insinuations
Police gets new communications system
Workers rush to get early retirement
Nine out of 10 workers who retired in the last four months who had belonged to the former special funds of banks and state corporations that have now been incorporated in the Social Security...
Piraeus Containter Terminal goes from strength to strength
Piraeus Container Terminal, the local subsidiary of Chinese giant Cosco Pacific, is expected to handle a total of over 3 million containers in the January-December period of this year. The J...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
Panathinaikos lost 80-67 at home to Barcelona on Friday in a rather meaningless game at the end of the first group stage of the Euroleague, but the encounter will be remembered for the bomb ...
SOCCER
Abidal cuts short playing career at Olympiakos
Former France and Barcelona defender Eric Abidal announced his retirement from football on Friday, a day before his last match. Abidal said he will finish after playing for Olympiakos agains...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The big picture
In his second term, US President Barack Obama is taking steps to enshrine his legacy and solidify America’s standing in the 21st century. His recent decision to normalize relations between t...
EDITORIAL
Get your facts straight
The danger that political discourse in Greece will sink to the basest levels of vulgarity is already more than apparent from the allegations we have heard bandied about over recent days. The...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Environment Ministry to reconsider controversial bill
2. Corfu to host country’s first hydroplane strip
3. Political upheaval sharpens after bribe claims with threats and insinuations
4. Police gets new communications system
5. Most Greeks say they recycle daily
6. Probe into revenues of 2 mln euros in Halkidiki municipality
more news
Today
This Week
1. Get your facts straight
2. The big picture
3. Political upheaval sharpens after bribe claims with threats and insinuations
4. Environment Ministry to reconsider controversial bill
5. Changes on E9 property declarations possible until end-year
6. Police gets new communications system
Today
This Week
1. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
2. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
3. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
4. High stakes
5. On the edge but not gutless
6. Gap between SYRIZA and New Democracy closing, says poll
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.