Wednesday November 26, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
13o C
8o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Carols, commerce and taxes

By Nikos Konstandaras

Children went into the streets again this year to sing carols with the same concerns they have every year: Where’s my triangle? Will it rain? Will people open their doors? Over the past few years, the clothes kids wear have changed, as most conform to globalization’s level of coolness. But the tradition of caroling door-to-door is not about begging, but about the exchange between the hope personified by children and the gratitude of adults for the blessing of their visit. Even in the crisis, most Greeks’ children live in a world of prosperity which no one could have imagined a few decades ago. But the children also know that much has changed.

Beyond the difficulties that each of us is facing, the New Year allows us to see how things have changed around us. And this is why children also asked themselves another question this year: Will the shopowners in the neighborhood give me anything? They understand a problem that is at the heart of the Greek crisis – retail turnover is dropping constantly and businesses’ capital base is shrinking. Figures released for the holiday period confirm this, again. According to Vassilis Korkidis, president of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce, turnover this holiday season came to 6.8 billion euros. “It may have been 10 percent below what it was in 2012, but this is a good number when compared to the reduction in consumers’ incomes over the same period, which was at least 32 percent,” Korkidis said on Thursday.

Throughout 2013, retail companies saw their sales drop by 10.5 percent and their gross profits by 13.4 percent, Korkidis added. This is because the parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, other relatives and friends of the children are trying to get by on increasingly less money while paying more taxes. Kathimerini reported on January 1 that the Christmas bonuses of one additional salary given to some private sector workers who are still entitled to this was equivalent to the amount paid in taxes in the past few days. According to banks’ estimates, the additional amount of 1.5 billion euros that was deposited in payroll accounts last month went to the payment of taxes. Installments for the property tax of 2011, 2012 and 2013, together with payments for the 2014 road tax, came to about 1.5 million euros, which was mainly paid in the last few days of last year, Kathimerini’s report said. In short, this means the money received in bonuses enabled workers to pay their taxes.

If we add to this that ELSTAT announced the average reduction in salaries from 2008 to the present has been above 25 percent (while unemployment stands at 28 percent), we have to ask ourselves how anyone can believe that Greeks’ incomes should be cut further. It is salaries and pensions that are propping Greeks up, keeping commerce alive and paying taxes. They are what allows us to hope that next year when the kids go out to sing carols they will not find a very different world.

ekathimerini.com , Friday Jan 3, 2014 (17:33)  
Beware of the fallen idols
The hard truth
Extremism from a bygone era
No call for more games
Hundreds of migrants on crippled ship off Crete
Ships from Greece rushed to help after a crippled freighter crammed with hundreds of migrants floundered for hours Tuesday in gale-force winds and high waves in the Mediterranean Sea, offici...
Policemen suspected of working at Piraeus bar where shooting took place
At least three serving policemen are thought to have been working at the bar in Mikrolimano, Piraeus, where a 31-year-old man opened fire with an AK-47 early on Saturday, resulting in 15 peo...
Inside News
Debtors snap up offer for easier settlements
The government’s plan for the settlement debts to the state is paying off as Greeks are signing up in numbers for the more favorable payment scheme. In less than 24 hours since the opening o...
Belgium gas firm said to be eyeing DESFA
Belgian natural gas network operator Fluxys is said to be eyeing the Greek gas grid, after signing an agreement on Monday with its Greek counterpart (DESFA) for the drafting of a study on th...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Atletico eyes last 16 berth against Olympiakos
Greek champion Olympiakos faces a tough task if it is to prevent last season's beaten finalist Atletico Madrid sealing its passage into the last 16 of the Champions League at the Vicente Cal...
SOCCER
EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
Soccer action will resume this weekend after the Super League convened on Monday, elected a new president and alternate president and sent a letter to the soccer federation that assures it t...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Hundreds of migrants on crippled ship off Crete
2. Atletico eyes last 16 berth against Olympiakos
3. Debtors snap up offer for easier settlements
4. Belgium gas firm said to be eyeing DESFA
5. OLP approval paves way for investment in Piraeus
6. Airport tender exceeds expectations
more news
Today
This Week
1. Anastasiades to undergo heart surgery in the US on Dec 4
2. Cargo vessel carrying hundreds of migrants adrift southeast of Crete
3. Trade deficit widens by 8.7 percent during Jan-Sept period, says ELSTAT report
4. Two police officers among 9 arrested for drug trafficking
5. Fraport, Copelouzos offer highest bid for Greek regional airports
6. Stop Mediterranean becoming vast migrant cemetery, Pope tells Europe
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Give Greece a chance
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
6. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.