Mount Athos ex­empted from dis­puted tax

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Dig­i­tal Pol­i­cyMin­is­ter Nikos Pap­pas yes­ter­day ap­proved an amend­ment that would ex­empt the monas­tic com­mu­nity of Mount Athos in north­ern Greece from hav­ing to pay dis­puted prop­erty taxes on its siz­able real es­tate as­sets.

The amend­ment, in­cluded in a bill of the Min­istry for Dig­i­tal Pol­icy, was drafted by law­mak­ers Panos Sk­ouro­li­akos of SYRIZA, Gior­gos Lazaridis from coali­tion part­ner In­de­pen­dent Greeks and Yiannis Saridis of the Union of Cen­trists. The amend­ment frees the com­mu­nity of the obli­ga­tion of pay­ing older prop­erty taxes that have not been set­tled. The amend­ment was ini­tially in­cluded in a Fi­nance Min­istry bill sub­mit­ted last week but was frozen by Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ka­te­rina Pa­panat­siou, who said she needed time to ex­am­ine the bud­get im­pli­ca­tions. A man died yes­ter­day and oth­ers were feared dead or in­jured af­ter the roof of a derelict build­ing col­lapsed in the old har­bor of the western port city of Pa­tra.

The man, whose iden­tity was not im­me­di­ately dis­closed, was, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal web­site best­news.gr, a refugee who had sought shel­ter in the build­ing, which also served as a makeshift shel­ter for mem­bers of the Roma com­mu­nity.

Ac­cord­ing to lo­cal re­ports, res­cue teams were comb­ing through the de­bris in search of other pos­si­ble vic­tims and sur­vivors. The build­ing had been de­clared unsafe and was sched­uled for de­mo­li­tion in three months.

Eye­wit­ness Yiannis Makkas, who was in his of­fice just a few me­ters from the build­ing when the roof caved in, told the Athen­sMace­do­nian News Agency he felt a vi­bra­tion “like an earth­quake.” “I then opened the win­dow and saw ev­ery­thing col­lapsed,” he said.

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