I didn’t know Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras had such a bitting sense of arrogance. On Monday, January 7th 2013, he called on Greeks to be patient for another year.” At the same time he dismissed suggestions by coalition government and opposition parties that heating oil subsidy might be extended to more social groups.
“I wish there was fiscal capacity do to so but there isn’t,” Stournaras told Vima FM in a response to a question about assistance for poor families to buy heating oil.
MPs from a number of parties, including coalition partners New Democracy and PASOK, have called over the last few days for there to be more help for less well-off families.
Last year, the government raised the tax on heating oil to match unleaded fuel, leading to the price rising by 40 percent. Demand for heating oil has since dropped by a reported 80 percent.
However, Stournaras added that many of those who qualified for a heating oil subsidy this year have failed to apply for one.
The finance minister stressed that it was important for Greece to continue its tight control over public finances as it looks to convince the troika to release three more loan tranches over the next three months.
“We won’t get the next instalment if we let up,” said Stournaras. “If the pullover starts to unravel, we’ll lose the trust we’ve started to rebuild. We have set targets that we have to meet.”
The disbursal of the next tranche, worth 9.2 billion euros is due after the January 21 Eurogroup. By then, Greek Parliament will have to approve a new tax code. (ekathimerini)
KTG assumes that Yiannis Stournaras spends his days in his office that is heated by the money pulled from the pockets of the Greek taxpayers. On the contrary, my own pullover and these of my neighbours have been permanently unraveled day by day, month by months with all these tax tributes we have to pay, that there is not thread left to buy heating oil or natural gas or even pay for electric heaters.
Temperatures have dropped during the last days and snow is expected even in downtown Athens this evening.