Property tax on electricity bills surprises Greek people
Greeks were fuming on Thursday at a surprise property tax that could leave out Church holdings while the country is being urged to make ‘costly’ sacrifices to secure rescue loans.
The finance ministry, under pressure from its international creditors to plug a budget hole of more than 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion), further increased the tax which had already caused outrage when announced at the weekend.
‘Rubbing my eyes’
Instead of a maximum of 10 euros per square metre, the limit was placed at 16 euros and electricity will be cut off for owners who refuse to pay.
“I was rubbing my eyes in disbelief,” tax accountant Vangelis Abeliotis told Flash Radio, noting that households will have to pay 1,000 euros on average on top of existing wage cuts and price rises under a tough austerity program last year.
“There is no way a family with a child that is studying or is unemployed can cover this cost, many will not hesitate to just cut power in secondary homes,” Abeliotis said.
The uproar was reflected in Thursday’s newspapers, with leftist Eleftherotypia speaking of a “great grab” on property.
Pro-government Ethnos spoke of a “very costly lifeline” from France and Germany, noting that the latest measures are a condition for the smooth disbursement of bankruptcy-saving loans to Athens.
Source and full story: Hurriyet News, 15 September 2011