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Merkel sends Otto Rehhagel to Athens to encourage Greeks

Former coach of Greek National Football team, German Otto Rehhagel, is due to Athens in a good will mission. To help improve the crisis- and austerity-hit German-Greek relations, to boost tourism and to encourage Greeks.

According to tabloid BILD newspaper, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has assigned Rehhagel with the mission to improve the relations of the two countries and encourage tourism in Greece.

End of March Otto Rehhagel will travel to Athens for a three-day visit, where he is expected to meet with president Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Rehhagel confirmed the plan and told BILD:

“I was approached on this issue by our Chancellor Merkel. Also the president of German Football Association asked me to help. and I like to do it. Because I know, my name has a positive image in Greece. After all, we won the European Championship in 2004. Nobody believed we could do it but we did. Therefore I would like to encourage my Greek friends.

BTW: Otto Rehhagel had apparently an unpaid bill to Greek tax office: 40,000 euro income tax from the times he was offering his service to Greek National Football team. Last month, Proto Thema reported that the Greek Finance Ministry sent an info notice through the German authorities. and that Rehhagel immediately paid the outstanding debt.

 PS Nice ‘moral’ gesture on Merkel’s part, but more than ‘courage’ we need a relief from the burden of the extra taxes. More practical, at any case.

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  1. You know whats funny is that Greece has had high taxes long before the IMF ever came. 38% IKA contributions and loan shark interest rates if you don’t pay on time mean that firms in Greece were considered the enemy of the state long before this economic crisis, ever since the Papandreou Senior days. Now you know why Social Security in Greece has absolutely collapsed, no one can pay IKA, 1/3 of Greek workers are undeclared and thus uninsured and short of putting half of Greece in jail, not being able to collect the crazy amount of money that is owed to IKA.
    While it may be hard for Greece to make changes to IKA with the IMF so strict with them, these changes should have happened years ago. No one will hire anyone if they cant even afford to pay their staff with non wage costs being 50% of the cost of the employee! You not only have to pay IKA, but you have to pay for AUXILLARY PENSION FUNDS AS WELL!!!