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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-05-08

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Six injured, five in serious condition in ELPE refinery fire
  • [02] Government, institutions close to finalizing tax package‏
  • [03] Creditors insist on the reduction of pensions, Social Insurance Min sec gen says
  • [04] One day we will create our own universe, Athens Academy president Nanopoulos says

  • [01] Six injured, five in serious condition in ELPE refinery fire

    ANA/MPA---Six persons were injured, five of them seriously, at a fire that broke out on Friday morning at Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) refineries in Aspropyrgos.

    A 31-year old worker is being hospitalised in Thriassio hospital intubated with 70 percent burns over his body, a 43-year old also intubated suffers of inhalation burn and another worker aged 29, also intubated, with burns over his hands but is out of danger.

    The three other injured workers, all under the age of 35, are in serious condition and were initially sent to Attiko hospital.

    One of them has burns covering 70 percent of his body and respiratory failure and was transferred to General AirForce Hospital in IC unit. The second one suffers from second degree burns and respiratory failure and was transferred to Gennimatas General hospital's burns unit. The third worker suffers from medium degree burns and is being hospitalised in Attiko Intensive Care unit. All three of them are intubated.

    [02] Government, institutions close to finalizing tax package‏

    ANA/MPA---With the basic measures of a new tax package on the agenda of negotiations with the institutions, the Greek government is moving towards a Eurogroup meeting next Monday aiming to obtain a positive comment of progress which could pave the way for a final agreement shortly afterwards.

    The new tax package, which has high acceptance rates from both sides of the negotiations, envisages the reforming an existing VAT status, measures which will transfer a tax burden to high incomes and actions towards a more efficient combating of tax evasion.

    Sources with knowledge of the negotiations told ANA-MPA that one of the main measures of the next tax bill will be the introduction of a single VAT factor for all goods and services, except from some basic goods, such as pharmaceuticals, which will remain in a low VAT factor, while discussions are currently focusing on a more efficient VAT collection from Aegean islands.

    A new tax package will focus on transferring more tax burdens to higher incomes, such as the imposition of an extra tax charge on the 500 most richest families in the country, while plans to revise upwards the top income tax factor were also examined. According to the latest data from tax administration, for the 2011 incomes, a total of 597 families declared incomes of more than 400,000 euros, while 283,433 taxpayers declared incomes of more than 50,000 and another 888,164 incomes of more than 30,000 (or 16 pct of total taxpayers). These figures most likely have been changed because of the crisis, but they represent -in general terms- the map of declare incomes in the country.

    The government is also discussing the imposition of a new luxury tax on expensive cars and yachts, while the government has left the door open to maintain a property tax charge for another year.

    [03] Creditors insist on the reduction of pensions, Social Insurance Min sec gen says

    ANA/MPA---Creditors insist on the reduction of pensions, Social Insurance ministry secretary general Giorgos Romanias on Friday said in statements to MEGA TV.

    "They have the Hardouvelis email and they are sticked to it," he said.

    According to Romanias, creditors "insist on the zero deficit clause" while asking not to change the laws that amend the way pensions are calculated. The government has explained to them, Romanias said, that there will be an additional burden of 2 million euros. The creditors' response to the government's argument that the cost is only 2 million euros is that the issue is structural and not fiscal.

    As for the negotiation, he said that the government insists on the red lines and added: "We do not retreat in some points that we consider essential."

    [04] One day we will create our own universe, Athens Academy president Nanopoulos says

    ANA/MPA---Dimitris Nanopoulos, on Friday in an interview with ANA-MPA, said a rift with Europe is inconceivable.

    The President of the Academy of Athens and professor of Theoretical Physics referred to his vision for a 'bolder' academy which will be closer to the people while expressing concerns over the new institutional changes in education that constitute a step back.

    Nanopoulos, who believes that our universe is not unique, is also optimistic that the CERN accelerator will find even one supersymmetric particle in the next two years.

    Asked on the possibility of creating a universe, he was positive. "Universes are continuously created by quantum way. One day we will find a way to create one," he underlined.

    He added that 'this sounds like Nietzsche. Maybe both Nietzsche and Camus in the sense of the absurd. Modern cosmology verifies the absurd. Do not look for purpose. This is Sisyphus.'

    The full interview is available for subscribers at ANA-MPA website.


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