Change to arrears law passed amid coalition dissent
Two coalition MPs yesterday failed to support the amendment to the recent tax arrears law, which nonetheless passed through Parliament, as a New Democracy lawmaker announced he was quitting the party.
The amendment, demanded by the troika, means that any taxes which were not overdue before October 1 cannot be included in the measure, which gives taxpayers up to 100 installments to pay off their debt.
A total of 147 deputies voted in favor of the change introduced by the government, while 112 opposed it. However, two PASOK MPs, Apostolos Kaklamanis and Michalis Kassis only voted “present.” Their refusal to support the amendment was overshadowed by the decision of New Democracy parliamentarian Andreas Psycharis to quit politics. Psycharis, son of publisher Andreas Psycharis, said that he was resigning because he could “no longer serve a political system that is unable to cooperate even on basic issues.”
Psycharis said he would be quitting Parliament altogether, meaning that his seat would go to the next candidate on New Democracy’s list, Alexandros Moraitakis. This means the government’s parliamentary majority is unaffected.
Also yesterday, Parliament approved the government’s legislation for dealing with corporate nonperforming loans. A total of 165 MPs voted in favor, 83 against and 13 “present.”