Election promises focus on taxes

Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou (right) leaves a Cabinet meeting yesterday along with Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis (center) and Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis (left). The Finance Ministry defended its recent decision to introduce the ETAK property tax, saying it covered a budget shortfall of 800 million euros without hitting taxpayers, whose real estate assets are worth less than 200,00 euros. The comments were in response to the socialist PASOK party who have promised to drop the ETAK levy if elected in the October 4 national elections. PASOK has said it will reintroduce a tax targeting those who own extensive property in order to offset the drop in budget revenues.