New Democracy leader outlines opposition’s policy pillars

New Democracy leader outlines opposition’s policy pillars

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday presented the main opposition party's policy program for rebooting the Greek economy and easing the burden on middle-income taxpayers.

Speaking at an event near central Athens ahead of general elections next month, the 51-year-old economist said that New Democracy plans to implement a series of changes in a program that expresses the party's “identity” and it's intention to “reach out to the people.”

Outlining the pillars of that program, Mitsotakis said that New Democracy will abolish the “destructive policy” of high primary surpluses “deliberately implemented” by the incumbent SYRIZA government, while also lowering corporate tax from 28 to 20 percent within two years and taxes on shares. He also vowed to introduce measures for reducing the cost of borrowing to business.

On income tax policy, the center-right leader said New Democracy would reduce the levy from 22 to 9 percent on incomes up to 10,000 euros a year and gradually pare the so-called solidarity tax from its current 20 percent to 15 percent.

The ENFIA property tax will also be cut by 30 percent within the first two years of a New Democracy government in order to bolster real estate values, while value-added tax would have two categories, of 11 and 22 percent, applicable within a four-year period, he said.

Mitsotakis, a former minister of administrative reform, said that he intends to slash red tape and introduce measures to boost employment so that the number of Greece's jobless shrinks to 500,000 from 850,000 where it is today within four years.

On the issue of law and order, the conservative chief announced plans to abolish the so-called Paraskevopoulos law for reducing prison populations that has resulted in hundreds of releases, as well as to amendment Greece's new criminal code “where necessary.”

Bolstering families and the flagging Greek population will be one of ND's “highest priorities,” Mitsotakis said, announcing a bonus of 2,000 euros for every child born in Greece, raising the tax ceiling by 1,000 euros for every child dependent, restoring the subsidy for large families to pre-2018 levels and ensuring that all parents have access to kindergarten services.

“New Democracy has a duty to stand beside everyone in need and we support the institution of a minimum guaranteed salary,” Mitsotakis said, adding the creating jobs was the best policy for combating poverty.

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