Parliament is expected to approve the new government midnight on Monday – Tsipras criticizes the Prime Mininister for not mentioning the 45th anniversary of the Turkish invasion
Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPE)
“The July 7 elections ended the cycle of crisis,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday during the policy statements in Parliament, on the first day of the debate that will conclude at midnight on Monday with a vote to approve the new government.
“The people’s mandate was specific and crystal clear. Greece with a majority government can go forward with hard work. My government and I will absolutely honour this mandate,” Mitsotakis added.
The prime minister underlined that it is time for Greece to go forward with unity, programme and hard work.
“Our mission is,” Mitsotakis said, “to link wages to growth – so everyone has a share in prosperity.”
He also announced opportunities to young people through an education that will stop producing unemployed people. Moreover, he promised rules in the labour market and the protection of the employees as well as a good public health system.
Meeting the 2019 and 2020 targets, we will move on to our plan, he noted and added: The business tax will be reduced to 20 pct in two phases. In September the tax will be reduced to 24 pct for 2019 incomes and the tax on dividends will be reduced to 5 pct.
He stressed that there would be an average 22 pct reduction in ENFIA (Uniform Real Estate Owenership Tax) as of August.
Small property owners will see 30 pct cuts, middle class owners will see 20 pct cuts and large property owners a 10 pct, he explained. This will happen with the first tax bill to be voted on through fast-track procedures. This means that instead of 2020, ENFIA will be reduced in a few weeks for 6.4 million property owners.
As regards the 120-installment debt payment framework, he said that the government will soon announce improvements.
In particular, the minimum monthly payment will be reduced from 30 euros to 20 euros, the interest rate will be reduced from 5 pct to 3 pct, the rules will be extended to include all enterprises with a basic debt of up to 1 million euros while confiscations for those who remain in the debt settlement framework are suspended.
The prime minister also announced:
A 40 pct tax deduction for the costs of energy, functional and aesthetic upgrading of buildings.
● The first tax rate for incomes of up to 10,000 euro will be reduced from 22 pct to 9 pct.
● The solidarity contribution fee will be gradually abolished.
● Social security contributions will be gradually decreasing from 20 pct to 15 pct, and VAT will be reduced from 13 pct to 11 pct and from 24 pct to 22 pct.
The government will do whatever it takes to save PPC, without any new burden on consumers. Where necessary, networks will be privatized and the strategic debtors will suffer the consequences of the law, he said adding that “once the company is reorganized, a strategic investor will be sought.”
Moreover, he said that a 30 pct of Eleftherios Venizelos Airport will be sold and Hellenic Petroleum will be privatized.
He also promised to make the best use of state property. The investment in former Elliniko airport will immediately start and will become the symbol of the new Greece, Mitsotakis underlined.
He announced changes in the Penal Code to prevent the release of criminals and terrorists.
According to the Prime Minister’s announcements, the budget for 2020 will not affect the fiscal balance or challenge the goals of the previous government’s primary surpluses. Having achieved the targets, however, he said, the government will be able to claim the reduction of surpluses in the next year.
Mitsotakis underlined that the International Law is always the ‘compass’ for the relations with Turkey and called on the Turkish President to make steps forward.
The prime minister also announced measures for the protection of the environment:
– As of 2021 disposable plastic will be banned. Greece needs to protect its beautiful nature in practice.
Businesses will be motivated to adapt to the cyclical economy by upgrading their equipment and re-training their workers.
– In a specific timetable, small Greek islands will become energy autonomous through the development of Hybrid Renewable Energy Sources.
There is also interest, relevant experience and European funding. But also serious expertise from Greek educational and research institutions.
– A Strategic Plan for Electric Mobility in major cities and islands will be implemented in a four-year horizon.
The first objective is the renewal of mass transport by urban electric buses and pilot applications in cooperation with the local government.
Tsipras: The first
after ten years
“Two things have changed in the new parliament,” main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday in Parliament.
“It is the first parliament after ten years in Greece that has regained its economic sovereignty and has exited the memoranda. And the second change has to do with the absence of Golden Dawn neo-Nazis from the parliament, which is a victory of the anti-fascist movement and democracy,” he underlined.
Referring to the new government, he spoke of “a centralized model, with armies of advisors reporting directly to the prime minister.”
Tsipras called on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to explain how he will cover the emerging fiscal gap. He also asked him to reply whether he will continue to grant social benefits and the additional pension. Moreover, Tsipras accused Mitsotakis of having avoided to refer to the tax free threshold, the solidarity contribution and advance tax payment.
Tsipras also accused the prime minister of his stance on the North Macedonia issue and the Turkish provocations.
He also accused him of not having made any comment on the respect for international law and the anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus.
At the end of his speech, Tsipras noted: “They have no right to bring new problems and new burdens to the Greek people. This is not the mandate of the Greek people. We will be here to preserve what we have achieved. With responsibility and vision for the country and the citizens. The vote is not a blanck check. Democracy is expressed in the Parliament, but it is also expressed in the social struggles.”
Policy statements are vague
and unfounded, Gennimata says
Movement of Change leader Fofi Gennimata commented on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ presentation of policy framework on Saturday in Parliament saying that they are vague and unfounded.
“In their essence, they are deeply conservative,” she stressed. “Moreover, they are inefficient and dangerous,” she added.
Specifically, she said that the first days of New Democracy’s governance were revealing. “You cannot change Mr Mitsotakis. The country cannot move forward this way,” she said.
“We do not see any systematic, organized, effective policy of support for the weakest and all those deprived of SYRIZA’s policies,” Gennimata noted.
The Movement of Change insists on reducing primary surplus targets from 3.5 pct to 2 pct of GDP, and recovering the national control by radically changing the role of the superfund. This is the only way to achieve fiscal space for growth and social justice, she underlined.
KKE S.G. Koutsoumbas
levels against government
on its policy statements
Communist KKE party secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas leveled against the government and its policy statements on Saturday in Parliament.
“If you wanted to innovate, you could have further expanded the tax base. You could have imposed taxes on tax shipowners,” he underlined.
“You are giving promises for tax reductions but you are not telling us who will pay the cost afterwards. How are you planning to reduce taxes while achieving a surplus?” he said.
“You may not have a problem in passing your proposals in the Parliament. But outside the Parliament, you will have to deal with the workers’ movement and the KKE. The popular opposition that is putting pressure for the improvement of the workers’ positions,” he said.