Media groups to lose tax concession

The government was yesterday forced to withdraw an amendment from Parliament which would have extended for another three years a law allowing media corporations not to declare 2 percent of their turnover. Realizing that there was a possibility the government would lose a vote on the amendment after 20 of its MPs expressed their intention to vote against it, the government said that it was withdrawing the proposal. The conservatives suggested that PASOK had been willing to back the amendment to the law, which allows media groups not to provide any paperwork to justify 2 percent of their turnover, which as a result is not taxed. «The government tabled the amendment after a request by the relevant institutional body and while bearing in mind that it is an amendment that has been in place since 1955 on account of repeated extensions,» said Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Antonis Bezas. «In fact, there were indications that this amendment had the agreement of the main opposition party which, while it was in power, passed into law all the relevant extensions since 1980. «But, since we now discover that there is no basis for agreement, the government will withdraw the amendment.» Former Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis, who led the conservative deputies’ opposition to the amendment, accused PASOK of not speaking out against the law. Kefaloyiannis had pushed for there to be a roll call vote on the amendment rather than a secret ballot. PASOK MP Dimitris Reppas said that the Socialists had planned to ask for a roll call vote if the government had not withdrawn the amendment.