PM: Tax exemption bill to go to vote before polls

PM: Tax exemption bill to go to vote before polls

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday that he will introduce an amendment before Parliament is dissolved to revoke a planned reduction in the tax-free threshold and that he will ask Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to set in motion on June 10 the process for early general elections. 

In his first interview since SYRIZA’s resounding defeats in European, local and regional elections, Tsipras told state television last night that the European institutions and Greece’s partners are aware of his government’s decision on the income tax threshold. 

“I’m calling on parties and the leader of the opposition to come to Parliament… to vote for the amendment to scrap the reduction of the tax threshold that is planned for January 1, 2020,” he said. He also said that he had initially planned to introduce the amendment in September – before the original date of national elections in October. 

Referring to his party’s election defeats, he insisted that it was the first time on a European level that a government has heeded the message sent by the electorate and called elections. This is a move, he said, that shows “democratic sensitivity.” 

Moreover he insisted that he didn’t consider the results too bad for a “party that has governed for four years under difficult conditions.” 

He also dismissed criticism hurled by opposition parties over a series of last-minute amendments that the government is pushing through before Parliament is dissolved ahead of next month’s elections, saying they address “social needs” and not backdoor hirings.

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