On April 2012 the Greek Ministry of Finance introduced an amendment to the initial law, regarding the imposition of the property tax to all property owners, offering the opportunity to the Public Power Company (DEI) not to convey to the Ministry the money collected through the electricity invoices for March and April 2012.
The law modification allows PPC to actually use the money to support its financial obligations for a period of two months and then convey the money to the Ministry of Finance.
It is clear that this measure was taken to support the difficult financial situation that PPC faces the last three months, showing in a very provocative way the preferential treatment that the public electricity company has by the Government!
Further to the above this extension to the payment deadline was not followed with an extension to the payment deadline that the property owners have, despite their severe financial difficulties.
It is commonly stated that this tax is a very severe measure, especially due to very difficult financial situation that most of the Greek households, face as well as for the specific social groups that need special protection. Greek households already struggling under the weight of increased VAT, salary cuts, and solidarity taxes.
Many business owners are on the verge of closure and the new tax is a new “pain” for all of them. However all property owners have to pay the first installment regardless of the errors in the calculation of the tax, or whether they belong to the weaker social groups, whose payments will be cancelled in the future. In case the tax is not paid within the deadline defined by the law, the power supply is to be cut off.
The specific tax, as well as many other measures were imposed to Greek citizens as a return for IMF “help”. And somebody would have thought that in this situation, the “sacrifices”
The Greek dream for PPC trade unions, as it appears through all these actions is still alive and is subsidized by the money of the Greek citizens. They can continue spending money for traveling abroad without even presenting the relevant tax documents, for luxury dinners and meetings, for subsidizing their salaries and other allowances.
Maybe it’s time that the IMF and the EU dropped their obsession with reducing Greece’s minimum wage or eliminating salaries, and applies policies that fight corruption and tax evasion among political parties. Their attention should be on consolidating the public sector. Who is responsible for this new law amendment? Who signed for it and under what perspective?
Note for the Property Tax
The new tax was imposed to all property owners on October 2011 by the Greek government, with the aim to collect extra money and support its difficult financial position. The property tax is collected through the electricity bills that are sent through DEI and other private energy suppliers.
The tax was imposed for 2011, 2012 and 2013 and through this the Ministry of Finance was expected to raise an estimated of 2-3 billion euro to qualify the next bailout tranche and avert default.
Aristeidis Floros is also the author at http://aristeidis-