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Thessaloniki: Outrage as man dies after waiting for 1.5 hour to pay the property tax

A 70-year-old man suffered a what it seems a heart attack while waiting at a bank to pay the property tax. The man collapsed after waiting at the queue for one and half hour. An ambulance was called in, the paramedics tried first aid, he was transferred to a nearby hospital. Despite all efforts, the man passed away.

The incident occurs at a branch of National Bank of Greece in Thessaloniki, in the north of the country, and triggered an outrage. Some Greek media urged the government to “arrest all responsible.” A prosecutor intervened and investigates the reasons that led to the man’s death.

A heart attack can happen to everyone while walking, sitting, standing, eating, sleeping. But when a sudden death occurs during a long queue at the bank to pay the property tax then the incident takes other dimensions… social dimensions, indeed.

This Tuesday the deadline for the payment of first installment of new property tax ENFIA expired and hundreds rushed to the banks to pay it in order to avoid a fine. Many taxpayers had been waiting for the pension or salary to come first and then meet their tax obligations. The result was in fact long queues and people waiting for up to two hours to reach the bank cashier.

The notifications for the property tax payments have been delayed after the Finance Ministry had to proceed to several modifications and correct calculation errors that had led to incredible high amounts even for collapsed houses or agricultural plots.

At the same time, this Tuesday it was the expire date for the payment of income tax.

Not to mention some pensioners groups who went to branches of National Bank of Greece to receive their pension. They were turned away with the advice “to come tomorrow” due to the tax payments.

Another incident of a tax payer collapsing at the queue outside a bank was recorded also in Thessaloniki this morning.

“He was a healthy man,” the family of the deceased told the media and stressed that “it wasn’t the property tax that killed him.”

The prosecutor investigates possible “negligence” and “omissions” that led to the man’s death.

PS if one sets the deadlines for two tax payments on the same day with the pension payment, no wonder that everybody rushes to the banks.


Shocked bystanders in Thessaloniki





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