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Greece’s Supreme Court: “Emergency Property Tax 2011 is against the Constitution”

BANG! A decision expected to cause tremors in the government economic team. Judges of Greece’s Supreme Court ruled Friday, that the “emergency property tax of 2011 was unconstitutional and contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).”

According to the reasoning, the emergency property tax is imposed according to property criteria (square meters, age etc) and not according to economic criteria of the taxpaying property owner, who has suffered income and pension cuts and heavy taxation.

“This whole burden the taxpayers have received has the effect of causing harm to the economic and family situation of the citizens and well as to the level of descent living,” the judges noted.

At the same time, the judges note that the imposition of EMT violates the First Additional Protocol to the ECHR,  Article 2 of the Constitution that protects the respect and value of citizens, Article 4 that refers to equality among citizens, Article 20 that protects the right citizens to go to court, Article 21 that protects the family and Article 78 that clarifies that a tax is collected only if provided by law.

The emergency property tax collected via the electricity bills has triggered an outcry in the society as taxpayers saw their power bills skyrocket, and often had their power supply been cut off, if they were unable to pay amounts of several hundred euro.

The emergency property tax was originally planned for two years (2011 and 2012) but it became permanent charging annually with at least 500 euro each household in times of recession, unemployment, strict austerity and severe cuts in salaries and pensions.

The EMT is additional to regular property taxes.

Today’s decision will be referred to the plenary of Greece’s Supreme Court for the final decision, as the judges voted 3:2 on Friday.

The case came to Supreme Court after the Finance Ministry had an appeal to cancel First Instance Court decision that had ruled the Emergency Property Tax was unconstitutional.

I suppose the Supreme Court decision would affect also the EMT 2012, but the appeal referred to the EMT of the first year it was imposed.

PS Send me back my money under bank account: &%^$#….

 

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