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Greeks Anticipate Crucial Voting on Property Tax

“Crucial” here and “crucial” there, ruling party PASOK deputies are actually expected to approve the property tax on Tuesday evening, after one aspiring  ‘defiant’ deputy declared earlier today that he will support the government. So far no other PASOK deputy has declared that he/she will not vote, so it seems that the Greek government will pass another crash test and push a new unpopular measure that will severely hit the average Greek household with several hundreds or even thousands of euro. The voting will start at 7 pm per roll call vote. I consider to do a live blogging because at the same time, protesters will chant their slogans outside the parliament surrounded by riot police.

The property levy aims to bring revenues of more than  €2 billion yearly provided the citizens will be willing to pay and have also money to pay in times of deep recession. The tax, originally planned as “temporary” for 2011 and 2012,  will be permanent in the years after. And it is additional to the rest of the property taxes the Greeks pay year in, year out. Therefore there is a growing anger on the issue, civic groups try to find legal measures to avoid paying without having electricity bills cut. Then the levy will be paid via electricity bills.

Exempted from the real estate tax is the powerful and rich Greek church and the Greek state.

Yesterday I wrote in other KTG-posts about the political consequence for PASOK, should the property bill fail to be boxed through the parliament:

“Quite a number of ruling party PASOK had to feel the strong pressure of their voters on this additional tax that amounts to several hundred or thousand euro on the shoulders of the average Greek household. According to Greek media, up to five PASOK MPs voiced their strong objections to the draft bill, two or three even threaten to quit. Such a move would severely damage PASOK and decrease its seats down to 152 or 151 in a Parliament of 300 deputies. Furthermore it would force it to change route and either accept a broader co-governance with other parties or call for early elections.”

 And this morning:

 A crucial voting for the government as a -small- number of PASOK-deputies threaten to resign. Even if two deputies resign, PASOK’s already thin majority will fall to 152 seats in a parliament of 300, political developments will be imminent. Then the government will have to pass through parliament more austerity measures and that will be hard or even impossible with such a majority… The voting will be on roll call [ so that PASOK defiant will be expelled from the party in super fast track lol].

However experience has shown that deputies revolt before crucial votings, then they vote for them and later they keep expressing their objections… The odius austerity measures pass, the deputies keep their seats and benefits, the citizens pay, and some elected members live their illusion that they are ‘revolters’.

I believe that the bill has 99.95% chance to pass, but of course, we should keep slightly the door open for surprises…

Keep tuned with Keep Talking, Greece!

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