OPINION

50 Years Ago Today

REQUEST: The residents of Valtetsiou St. have written to the king asking him to dissolve Parliament and to hold elections using the system of a simple majority. PROPHECY: Nikos Beloyiannis testified yesterday at his military court trial, giving more than an hourlong lecture of communism. He insulted the court, the Greek justice system in general, praised the Communist Party of Greece and stated proudly that he belonged to the party’s executive committee, praised the bandits’ uprising, and, in conclusion, gave the assurance that he was indifferent to any ruling the court might deliver. Cominform’s representative is right about that last point. Tomorrow or the day after, he will be put under the protection of the special clemency program (of Interior Minister Ioannis Rendis) and will be pardoned in the interests of domestic peace. He might even be driven home in the minister’s limousine, just so he can show off. LAND PLOTS: In Glyfada, plots of land are on sale in an excellent location just three minutes from the bus stop. IKA PENSIONS: The board of the Social Security Foundation (IKA) yesterday decided to increase pensions by 30 percent as of December 1, following a proposal by the vice president and secretary- general of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), Mr. Fotis Makris. National Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis’s remarks yesterday, suggesting that certain parts of the tax system reform will be speeded up, highlight that the government is abandoning its passive stance and is seeking ways to boost economic activity. Apart from promoting the points of tax reform that are ripe, as the minister put it, he also called for increasing the rate at which funds from the Third Community Support Framework are absorbed. Christodoulakis clearly sees the specter of higher unemployment and is resorting to the two available antidotes: EU funds and tax incentives. Few would object to the need for tax reform. The tax system is based on past parameters and, although it has been subjected to numerous amendments, it has not been adapted to the new economic environment. This means that many of its amendments are not only unfair but actually comprise counterincentives for economic activity without making any special contribution to general economic activity. These problematical elements have to change as soon as possible, but taking into consideration their impact on the economy and the entire tax system. Any fragmentary measures aiming at generating a short-term increase in public revenue would be detrimental.