Alex­i­adis’s pledges are put on hold

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Two of the pledges­former al­ter­nate min­is­ter of fi­nance Try­fon Alex­i­adis had made be­fore the gov­ern­ment reshuf­fle, con­cern­ing changes to road tax and the heat­ing oil ben­e­fit, ap­pear to have been shelved, al­though it is pos­si­ble the lat­ter will go ahead.

Ac­cord­ing to a top min­istry of­fi­cial it is pos­si­ble that road tax will re­main the same as last year for ve­hi­cle own­ers as there is no time left for in­ter­ven­tions (road tax is payable un­til the end of the year). Alex­i­adis had pro­posed tax re­duc­tions for own­ers of older and smaller ve­hi­cles and hikes for own­ers of newer and larger ve­hi­cles.

Re­gard­ing the heat­ing oil ben­e­fit, the same of­fi­cial said that the min­istry is ex­am­in­ing whether it is tech­ni­cally fea­si­ble to in­tro­duce the changes based on ge­o­graph­i­cal cri­te­ria that Alex­i­adis had rec­om­mended for the amount of the ben­e­fit granted to each house­hold en­ti­tled to it. The of­fi­cial added that the is­sue will be­come clearer in the next few days, say­ing that “if the changes can be sup­ported tech­ni­cally, they will pro­ceed.”

As for de­mands for the abo­li­tion, or at least de­lay, of the up­com­ing hike in the spe­cial con­sump­tion tax on cig­a­rettes, set for Jan­uary 1, the same source stressed cat­e­gor­i­cally that the in­crease will be im­posed.

The gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day lent its full sup­port to bank bailout fund HFSF in its clash with the Na­tional Bank of Greece board, in­creas­ing pres­sure on NBG chief ex­ec­u­tive Leonidas Fragki­adakis to re­sign. Spokesman Dim­itris Tzanakopou­los said ‘a bank can­not ig­nore the wish of its main share­holder.’

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