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Thessaloniki: Greek PM promises “tax breaks roadmap” but little sustance without Troika’s blessing

In a festive mood Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced a 30% discount in the Special Consumption Tax for heating oil. Inaugurating the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki, the Greek PM announced a package of measures to the dept-, recession- and austerity-ridden Greeks. Vague discounts in property tax and solidarity tax, a gradual decrease in taxation of natural persons and businesses,  high number of pay back installments to state debtors. Of course, these jingle-bells changes will not happen tomorrow. Greece’s lenders – the Troika- will  have to check first blood pressure, sugar levels and financial adjustments and achievements starting in October.

However, it looks as if Samaras is adamant to lower the heating oil tax as soon as possible, as its increase in autumn 2012 left the majority of Greek households without heating for two consecutive winters.

The price of heating oil is expected to be at €1.15 per liter from €1.25-1.30 last winter and the discount of Special Consumption Tax of  30% to be applied in upcoming October.

Given the financial situation of many households hit by unemployment and income decreases any price below half-a-euro for heating oil is unaffordable.

But.. whatever.

In a further attempt to “correct the injustice cause the the loan agreements of austerity” Antonis Samaras also announced the “gradual increase in the salaries of the Greek Armed Forces.”

The package of measures announced by Samaras on Saturday is nothing more than a re-chewing of his Greece 2020 agenda and road map for the upcoming years.

The question is: whether Samaras will be in power to materialize his plans, as his party conservative Na Dimokratia is constantly at +/-3% behind main opposition left-wing SYRIZA in public opinion surveys conducted in recent two-three weeks.

PS If you happen to be in Thessaloniki today and see demonstrators changing slogan, beware! It’s not the folks celebrating in frenzy about the tax breaks road map. It is protesters form several interest groups and opposition parties for the never-ending austerity.




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