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With the Socialists’ votes, the Greek Parliament approved the poll tax on real estate

28 September 2011 / 13:09:21  GRReporter
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The Greek Parliament approved the poll tax on real estate that sowed a lot of discontent. The right opposition in the face of New Democracy and LAOS insisted for a roll-call vote. The 154 members of the ruling PASOK, supported by the vote of the independent Elsa Papadimitriou, voted for another poll tax to be paid through electricity bills.

The Socialists put into operation the party machine to mobilize their own members and oblige them to sit in the hall and vote in support of another tax whip of George Papandreou’s government. The Secretary of PASOK’s Parliamentary Group Vassilis Exarchos and the Parliamentary Spokesman of the government Christos Papoutsis were in full alert to prevent surprises during the vote.

Thus, several lawmakers, who were ill quickly returned to the parliamentary building. Dimitris Papoutsis limped on a crutch but voted to support the poll tax. Thomas Robopoulos, who had caused serious concern among his colleagues for not answering their phone calls, appeared in the hall. Even Ioannis Vouros who was ready to resign ultimately made a sacrifice, stayed in the National Assembly and supported the poll tax on real estate.

As a result, despite the rumours about Socialist deputies who would vote against the tax, the parliamentary group of the ruling party was as solid as a concrete wall.

Before the vote, the Minister of Finance Evangelos Venizelos explained that the tax does not include common areas in residential buildings and in hotels. The electricity company will cut the electricity of those people who do not pay this extra tax. The Minister promised that a ministerial order would facilitate chronically ill patients who use electrical equipment to maintain their health.

However, economists warn that even this poll tax is not enough to fill the ever-growing budget gap and expect the introduction of new extra taxes.

Tags: Extra tax on real estateEconomic crisisGreek ParliamentBudget deficit
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