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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-08-29

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Majority paying the same or less ENFIA tax, Gerovasili tells 'Real FM'

  • [01] Majority paying the same or less ENFIA tax, Gerovasili tells 'Real FM'

    The government has worked hard to ensure that the Uniform Real Estate Tax (ENFIA) is the same or less for an overwhelming majority of tax payers, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said on Monday, while talking to the radio station 'Real FM'. She presented figures showing that 92 pct of tax payers will either be paying the same amount or less, with some paying no tax at all, or else will see increases that do not exceed 10 euros.

    She noted that ENFIA will be greatly reduced for those owning properties in working-class neighbourhoods, such as Pagrati, Peristeri, Nikea and others, while increases will be for detached houses in medium and large plots of land, and large apartments in expensive areas like Kolonaki, Paleo Psychiko, Ekali and Glyfada. She noted that ENFIA will increase for a small percentage of individuals and a larger percentage of legal entities, representing 8 pct of tax payers.

    She also confirmed that the government is planning changes to the ENFIA tax and its replacement by a system that is fair and fully reflects real estate market realities but was unable to give a date when this might happen.

    The government was fully aware that many citizens had been crushed by taxes in recent years and was now battling to ensure that the distribution of taxation was made constantly fairer, Gerovasili added.

    Commenting on primary surplus targets and the possibility that Greece's partners will refuse to reduce them, Gerovasili said the 3.5 pct of GDP target for 2018 was feasible but could not be maintained in the long term. She noted that the government had provenly fought and succeeded in getting a reduction of the surpluses agreed by the previous New Democracy government led by Antonis Samaras, noting that ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis must state his position on the Samaras surplus targets.

    All sides now recognise that Greece's debt is not sustainable, she pointed out, and must come with a "responsible stance on this issue with the aim of giving relief to the Greek economy." Greece and its partners now wanted the negotiations to progress quickly, she added, and revealed that the discussion in Brussels at the moment was focused on creating a rapid crisis management 'hotline' or communications system in order to speed up the negotiations.

    "The aim of this communications system on critical or crisis issues is to make negotiations faster and more efficient. This is good and shows a different climate," she added.

    Gerovasili also answered questions about the new charges against the former head of ELSTAT Andreas Georgiou and the European Commission's letter, noting that there were some "tense" and "exaggerated" reactions on this issue, both in Greece and abroad.

    "We hope, however, that all of us having this discussion will have faith in Greek justice and its decisions," she added.

    In his reply to the European Commission, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos made clear that the Greek government is working to depoliticise administration and the independent authorities and invited the Commission to present any evidence it might have to the contrary, she pointed out.

    Asked whether a conviction for Georgiou would automatically call into question the ELSTAT figures with which Greece entered the bailout programme, Gerovasili said the government let justice work independently and did not intervene, either for or against Georgiou. She also noted that no one had a right to urge the government to interfere with justice, adding that the Commission's letter contained a contradiction on this score, in that it asked the Greek government to adopt a position while noting that it must not interfere in the work of independent authorities.

    On the possible impact of a conviction on the Greek programme, she said the issue should be given time to unfold.


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