Complaints continued to emerge from within government ranks on Wednesday about the single property tax (ENFIA), forcing the coalition to replace two of its MPs ahead of the vote on the amendments it made this week.
New Democracy’s Lefteris Avgenakis and PASOK’s Nikos Sifounakis both said they would not vote in favor of the latest changes to the tax, which include a 20 percent reduction in the levy on homes that are empty or which do not have electricity. Both MPs said the changes did not do enough to make the tax fairer.
“I will not consent for a second time to changes that do not solve the problem and which will cause thousands of taxpayers to correctly believe that they are being taken for a ride,” said Sifounakis.
The fact that Parliament is still in its summer session, when 100 rather than 300 MPs sit in the House, means that the parties can replace lawmakers. The government has decided to do this in the case of Avgenakis and Sifounakis to minimize the risk that the amended ENFIA does not receive lawmakers’ support.
“I understand the pressure that government MPs are feeling,” said Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis. “But now that the [adjustment] program is coming to its end… our role, and that of our MPs, is to ensure that the Greek economy and the country continue on their course toward exiting the crisis.”