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Athens:Property Tax Voting & Protests – Live Blogging in English

While Greek members of the Parliament gathered to vote for the unpopular property tax, hundreds have gathered outside to protest the voting and the new austerity package that comes as a storm over their heads. “Indignant” Greeks and members of the civic “I Don’t Pay” movement have urged citizens to join the protest. Strong riot police forces have took place around the Parliament to hinder protesters coming close.

ΦΩΤΟ ΝΕWSIT

18: 30 (6.30 pm) The protests started with a group of special guards from the Greek Police (ELAS) who raised banners saying: “We are illegal immigrants in our own country”. Protesting police officers are surrounded by … working riot policemen!

 Video: protesting police special guards

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19:17 The voting in parliament will start soon. Roll call vote. It will be decided upon the majority of the present deputies and not the absolute majority (151 YES votes in a 300-seat parliament.

The meeting between Greek PM George Papandreou and German chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to start at 9 pm Greek time.

 ******* Refresh KTG Page for Updates *********

19:37 

There is delay in the voting. Rumors claim that 3 PASOK deputies intend to vote against the property tax bill.

19:40 Major Streets are closed to traffic in downtown Athens

19:42 Debate in the Parliament started!

19:45

Citizens of all ages and social classes flock outside the Parliament. With trillers, banners and flags.

Συγκεντρώνονται στο Σύνταγμα οι Αγανακτισμένοι 

19: 50

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said Hotels are exempted form the property tax. He dismissed claims that property owners who lease to state institutions won’t pay the tax … because the state is exempted from it.

 

19:55

Tension Outside the Parliament  as protesters tried to break the riot police chain at Vass Sofias Str. Protesters booed riot police. A couple of water bottles were hurled against them.

Riot police tried to protest the protesting policemen…

Unconfirmed reports claim a policeman was slightly injured by a hurled stone.

19: 58 Voting started at the Parliament

 20:01 PM Papandreou currently in Berlin voted YES per ‘letter vote’.

 VIDEO:  Syntagma Sq protesters – no good media coverage of the protests

 
Earlier outside the Parliament
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

20:18  Protesters outside Parliament estmated 4,000-5,000 people.

Protesting policemen withdraw, more riot police squads are being deployed.

 

20:09 Voting continue

20:18 Protesters outside the Parliament are estimated 4,000-5,000 people.

Protesting policemen withdrew, more riot police squads are bein deployed.

20:20 Voting concluded – Now votes are counted

 

20:28  

Silence in Parliament as votes are being counted – Silence in our pockets too as there is no euro left …

 The Property Tax will come via the electricity bills. Those who will not pay the tax will have the electricity cut!!! Goosebumps! Shivering Blackmail! The property tax will cost several hundreds or thousand euros to property owners. For the rest of their lives in deep recession!

20:35 Voted 297 deputies

   155 voted YES (154 from PASOK, 1 from ex conservatives)

   142 voted NO

20:40

There are some reports of police to have fired tear gas against protesters.

Video: earlier Riot Police protecting protesting police from protesting civilians…

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20:46 All Quite outside the Parliament – Keeping an eye on possible ‘incidents’ when deputies will leave the building.

I may have a luxury beer – the worst Dutch is sold as the most expensive in Greece: €1,40 in super-market. HA! I ‘ll drink it drop by drop…

Private Sector union forecast 1,200,000 jobless in 2012 and unemployment to reach 26%. Officially is at 16.5%, unofficially at 22-23%.

***** Keep tuned with “Keep Talking, Greece” ****

 Syntagma Sq a couple of minutes ago @mkhalili

 21:19  Papandreou – Merkel join press conference concluded. Merkel said, she wants a strong Greece within the eurozone [preferably without …Greeks!]. She also said that Greeks pay a high price for the changes in their country [Greeks pay a lot but see no change]. The two leaders left for a join dinner…

Watch for the total black-out in Athens public transport tomorrow! No public transport, no Taxis.

21:22 All quite outside the Parliament!

21:50 Riot Police fired tear gas and beat protesters outside the parliament.

There are reports that police made etxensive use of force, practically for no reason.

Protesters report of a man who collapsed, of tear gas round Syntagma Sq and deployment of more riot squads.

ΦΩΤΟ ΝEWSIT - Επιχείρηση της αστυνομίας

 Protesters chant “Thieves! Thieves”  – Police detains protester – Riot Dog Loukanikos protests via Barking

 Injured Protester
Σοβαρά τραυματισμένος ένας διαδηλωτής
 
 

 

 There are reports of extensive use of tear gas as protetsres and riot police play cat & mouse… better say: mouse & cat

 Half an hour ago protesters thought they saw an MP outside the Pallas Theater and gathered around the man. Strong police forces rushed there, the actors interrupted the play.

There is  stone-tear gas ‘war’ going on …

 It seems the night will be long in downtown Athens as clashes continue between protesters and riot police.

some of the source used  Newsit.gr, newsbeast.gr, zougla.gr

22:34 Riot police has “cleared” the area outside the parliament and the Syntagma sq from protesters and has pushed them towards Ermou str. – Police opened major roads of downtown Athen to traffic.

Thank you for reading “Keep Talking, Greece”! Have a great night!

 

 

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11 comments

  1. Thanks again for the coverage from all of us who don’t speak Greek!!!

  2. Ya, ones again thanks.. Trying to find my way around the news on Greek pages, but much easier with KTG.. hehe.

    And the result of the vote.. Well, we knew it would be a yes.. Wonder what all this is gonna end up with..

  3. Good coverage indeed. Thanks KTG. But, the reality is that most countries have to pay property tax. We were living in fantasy land here in Greece not having to pay property tax. We’re just joining the nations that do have to pay now. The next generation of children will consider it normal to have to pay property tax and no one will complain. Unfortuantely, change is always hard at first.

    • Amerikanaki, this is an EXTRA/ADDITIONAL tax to the other property taxes the people pay! therefore the reactions. To summarize: there are 3 additional taxes (solidarity contributions, so to say) to what we already pay.

  4. OH, KTG, could you expand more reader comments. currently, you leave the last 5 posted reader comments, but if I miss a day, then I don’t know what was posted beyond that. Could you include up to 25 of the last reader comments. That way we can see who else posted to your comments.

  5. Ok, thanks, I look foward to reading more comments.

    Oh, also, we live in Athens and have one home, and never paid property taxes because it’s our first home. Now, we have to pay, so that is what I mean. In many countries, you pay property tax on all property (first home or not)

    • check your DEH bill , some property taxes are there on monthly basis. and of course you pay tax for every buy/sell/ heritage. With the increase of ‘value zone’, the objective values and the decrease of the taxing sq meters, you may have to pay for 1st home as well.