Deputy PM questions rising taxes

A few hours after backing the government?s new property levy in Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos sided with those protesting against the fresh tax hike.

?Greek society?s tax-giving limits have been exhausted,? noted Pangalos speaking on Mega TV on Wednesday, adding that in order to pay off the new property tax he will have to sell one of his assets.

At the same time, the deputy prime minister took a positive stance toward a new receipt collection regime announced by Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Tuesday. Noting the public?s rapidly rising confusion regarding Venizelos’s receipt announcement, Pangalos called for dialogue involving both the government and ruling PASOK’s MPs.

Announced just three months before the end of the year, the new receipt scheme is being dissociated from the tax-free ceiling and will involve taxpayers collecting more receipts for the current year. Failure to collect the required amount of receipts might lead taxpayers to paying more in tax. While expense categories to be included have yet to be announced, some reports indicated that receipts covering up to 50 percent of income could be required.

Speaking on Skai on Wednesday, Finance Ministry General Secretary Ilias Plaskovitis noted that the exact percentage of income to be collected in the form of receipts has yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, the Athens Bar Association late on Tuesday stripped Pangalos of his emeritus lawyer title, citing comments made by the veteran politician that implied lawyers are tax evaders.

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