Greece Approves New Property Tax To Boost Revenue | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Greece Approves New Property Tax To Boost Revenue

Greek lawmakers approved a controversial new property tax Tuesday that aims to boost revenue as the country struggles to obtain a critical installment of international bailout loans that will prevent it from default.

The new tax passed 154 votes to 143 against in the 300-member parliament. It was announced earlier this month after international debt inspectors suspended their review of Greek reforms amid talk of missed revenue targets and delayed implementation of austerity measures. The inspectors are expected to return to Athens this week.

Greece must receive a euro8 billion ($11 billion) rescue loan before mid-October to stave off bankruptcy, a collapse that would send shock waves through financial markets in Europe and the world. But creditors have demanded more efforts to raise revenue.

The new tax will be charged through electricity bills to make it easier for the state to collect, instead of going through Greece's unwieldy and inefficient tax system. Those who refuse to pay risk having their power cut off.

But the extra charge has deeply angered Greeks, who have already been through more than a year of sharp austerity that has seen salary and pension cuts and increased taxes across the board. State electricity company unionists have threatened not to collect the tax.

Speaking before the vote, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos acknowledged the new tax was harsh on some, but stressed the government had no choice but to impose it as it fought to reduce its budget deficit.

"Clearly there will be categories of people who will not be able to pay this housing charge and this is a situation that will be resolved," he said. "But the most important thing is that we achieve the targets agreed to in 2011 and 2012."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. To see more, visit http://www.ap.org/.

NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Thanksgiving Hot Durkey

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we make our own holiday turkey — out of hot dogs.
NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Thanksgiving Hot Durkey

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we make our own holiday turkey — out of hot dogs.
NPR

Hagel Steps Down After Discord On Syria, Iraq

President Obama announced the defense secretary's resignation Monday morning. Chuck Hagel clashed with White House adviser Susan Rice on Syria policy, and he never made it into Obama's inner circle.
NPR

Action On Immigration Meets Silence, Skepticism In Silicon Valley

As an organized sector, the tech industry did not applaud President Obama's executive action on immigration; and the future of the joint campaign for a comprehensive bill is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.