Greece’s conservative party leader, Antonis Samaras (Nea Dimocratia) revealed the party’s economic programme 17 days ahead the June 17 elections. “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” Samaras said during his programme presentation on Thursday afternoon in Athens.
Jobs, no new taxes, no new horizontal cuts, cancel emergency taxes or scale them back are the pre-election promises Samaras gave in an effort to win debt-ridden and austerity-hit Greek voters.
His programme contains 18 points:
1. Restoration of very low pensions and benefits for parents of more children at 2009 levels and specific benefits. Compensation for insurance funds and the bondholders who drew damages from the Greek bond swap (PSI)
2 Extension of unemployment benefits to two years
3. Unemployment benefits to self-employed who are currently not entitled.
4.Tax regulations so that they won’t exceed 25% of the average family income.
5. No further cut sin the private sector.
5. Increase the tax-free income from 5,000 euro to 8,000 and later to 10,000 euro -when state revenues stabilize
6. Replace the ’emergency property tax’ with a new regular property tax (ETAK= Special property fee)
7. Gradual reduction of tax rates for businesses. Immediate reduction of VAT in the catering sector at the level of 9% already in the next year.
8. Progressive tax reductions for individuals up to 32% from 45% today. “The increase in tax rates from 2010 to date caused a reduction in revenue of 9%,” said Samaras.
9.The measures of 11.5 billion euro [to go in effect in June] to be extend for two more years. “We will introduce the 3.5 billion. euro cuts in 2013 rather than seven billion So, the cuts will be made by the wasteful use of public money rather than by wages. ”
10. No lay-offs for civil servants for three years after the closure of public organizations. “No other horizontal cuts, no more reduction in wages and pensions, no more cuts in public investment program, not another tax. Those who speak of unilateral termination lead to a rupture with partners and lead to new taxes and cuts. ”
11. Measures for borrowers. The monthly loan payment will not exceed 30% of the income.
12. Suspension of the consequences of Tiresias [system for debtors] or those who have registered.
13. Ensure liquidity to SMEs through a special sponsorship from the bank and the funds of the ERDF. “The basic mechanism to restore liquidation is that banks deposits will return to the banks”.
14. Offset of debts from and to the state.
15.Release of the public property.
16. Decisive promotion of privatization.
17. Beyond the economy, policies to restore the security of Greek citizens, combat illegal immigration and crime, disclosure of hooded [protesters], combat illegal trade.
18. Acceleration of the proclamation of the EEZ to exploit the seabed energy wealth.
Where he will find the money to materialize this programme and how he will renegotiate the terms of Memorandum of Understanding to make some of his programme’s targets to come true, Samaras did not reveal…
In public opinion polls ahead June elections, ND heads with 1%-3% ahead of SYRIZA.