For new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, his first priorities are to ease the tax burden, promote growth and bring jobs.
In opening the three-day parliamentary debate on the new conservative government's policy statement, Mitsotakis announced he would bring forward a cut in the property tax by an average of 22 percent.
He called this “a different kind of somersault,” a jibe at his predecessor's reneging on many of his policy promises that brought international recognition to the Greek word “kolotoumba” (somersault).
Mitsotakis, by and large, avoided attacking his predecessor, taking the high road and defending his stance.
“We are not enemies, we do not seek each other's political demise. The era of rage...is over,” Mitsotakis said. He did, however, rejoice at the absence from Parliament of “this repulsive Nazi entity,” meaning Golden Dawn, which narrowly failed to reach the 3 percent threshold of the popular vote required to elect MPs.
The bill to cut the property tax will be voted on this week, impacting 6.4 million owners straight away, in their current tax returns, instead of next year's.
Mitsotakis also said that the draft 2020 budget, which will be submitted to Parliament in September will stick to the previous government's fiscal commitments agreed with Greece's creditors, including the “excessive” primary budget surplus (i.e. excluding servicing on the country's debt) equal to 3.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Mitsotakis said that next year he would negotiate a more “realistic” surplus target.