Sunday, May 22, 2016

Taxes: Greek parliament approves austerity measures demanded by creditors – THE WORLD

With a debt brake and a number of additional austerity measures, the Greek Parliament has cleared the way for the disbursement of a further auxiliary credit tranche by its international creditors. The Parliament approved on Sunday evening a legislative package with savings of 1.8 billion euros. The decision was made in good time before the next Euro-group meeting on Tuesday, it was accompanied by mass protests in Athens.

After a two-day parliamentary debate all voted 153 deputies of the government coalition from left Syriza and the right-wing populist Independent Greeks (Anel) for the more than 7,000-page legislative package. Among them was the Syriza MPs Vassiliki Katrivanou who had voted against certain points of the package.

After the vote on the whole package Katrivanou resigned. Syriza put to measures “that violate the core of our values ​​and our policies,” she told the social network Facebook. Since they see no other alternative, they put their mandate down.

preliminary particularly controversial was the “automatic debt brake”, which comes into force when Greece medium the prescribed savings targets missed. They should be set until 2018, in force when the spring budget deficits are detected and the Greek Ministry of Finance does not react with further cuts. However, social spending should be excluded.

Measures for accelerated privatization and the creation of an independent authority for public revenues to combat fraud and tax evasion were among the package. Moreover, the VAT is raised on some goods by one point to 24 percent, in 2018 a residence tax is introduced in the hotel industry.

The measures are prerequisite for Greece receives a new much needed tranche from the rescue package with a total of 86 billion euros, to which Athens, the EU, the European Central Bank had agreed (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July, 2015.

the government of leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras now expects that the Euro group are on Tuesday ahead for the disbursement of the next aid tranche of around 5.4 billion euros.

Tsipras hopes beyond a general improvement in the situation. Given signals from the Euro Group and the IMF said the Prime Minister, “this is the first time that victims have a chance to pay off”.

On May 9 had advised the euro zone finance ministers at a special meeting in Brussels on ways to debt of Greece. The federal government is the main opponent of a debt restructuring for Greece. On Thursday called for the IMF to lend to the country by a long period without debt repayments. “It is the first time that the debt issue is being discussed in the international institutions with the appropriate attention,” praised Tsipras. However,

Domestically hit him against a headwind. Before Parliament demonstrated on Sunday according to the police more than 10,000 people against the austerity measures. The entire public transport in Athens was blocked at the weekend in protest against the austerity plans

The head of the conservative opposition party New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, warned in Parliament.: “Everyone will be affected by the storm of the new measures.” Greek newspapers complained that the country had received in return for the new austerity measures are no guarantees of international creditors.

In July Greece will have high loan to the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to repay. Otherwise threatens again the bankruptcy.

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