Sa­ma­ras fo­cuses on tax dif­fer­ences

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

New Democ­racy leader An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras yes­ter­day sin­gled out tax­a­tion as his main point of dis­agree­ment with the gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic pol­icy, in­sist­ing that lower taxes are needed to help Greece re­turn to growth and to re­store some hope among Greeks.

Sa­ma­ras and his party have been crit­i­cized at home and abroad over the last few days for op­pos­ing the gov­ern­ment’s medium-term fis­cal plan even though the con­ser­va­tives agree to re­duc­tions in pub­lic spend­ing and back the sale of state as­sets.

Ger­many’s Sud­deutsche Zeitung news­pa­per sug­gested that the Euro­pean Peo­ple’s Party, the group­ing of the EU’s cen­ter-right par­ties, is con­sid­er­ing ei­ther oust­ing ND or cut­ting its sub­si­dies.

Sa­ma­ras ap­peared un­per­turbed when he spoke at a gather­ing in Per­touli, cen­tral Greece, yes­ter­day but he took care in spec­i­fy­ing ex­actly what he op­poses in the midterm fis­cal plan, to be voted in Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day. He said that Greeks were “over-taxed” and that the new hikes in­cluded in the scheme were “too much of a bur­den to carry.” “The most dif­fi­cult thing that I see through­out all of Greece is the de­jec­tion, the feel­ing of de­pres­sion, some­thing that does not suit the Greeks,” he said

ND’s in­sis­tence that it will not sup­port the mea­sures in Par­lia­ment this week has caused ex­tra ten­sion be­tween the con­ser­va­tives and rul­ing PASOK. ND deputy Theodoros Karaoglou prompted an an­gry re­sponse from his So­cial­ist coun­ter­part Panayi­o­tis Kourou­b­lis when he sug­gested on Skai ra­dio that the lat­ter and two other PASOK MPs who have in­di­cated they might not sup­port the gov­ern­ment this week were “phoney rebels” and would end up vot­ing for the midterm plan.

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