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New Greek Gov’t Gets Down to Work, Tax Bill First on the List

Photo Source: @Prime Minister GR

The newly elected Greek government headed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met for the first time on Wednesday, to lay out the agenda of priorities for the upcoming period with the government policy statement slated for July 20-22.

Topping the agenda is a tax bill which reports claim will include tax breaks.

Mitsotakis confirmed that Parliament would remain open over the summer and that dedication and hard work would be expected of his ministers, adding that they would be required to meet set targets and be assessed every six months.

“Now is the time to unite all Greeks under a common vision for prosperity and improvement… work has already begun,” he told cabinet members.

The new government will focus on five key areas: taxation with the tax bill scheduled to be voted on August 10 and reportedly to include a trimmed ENFIA property tax, reduced VAT on food and beverages, which may according to Greek daily Naftemporiki take effect in September, and a business tax reduction as of January 1, 2020.

Investments are next on the list with the aim to create new jobs and meet a growth target of 4 percent.

Energy follows with plans to save the country’s power utility DEH, implement island power grid connections, proceed with the pending privatization of the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and of Hellenic Petroleum, advance international pipeline and natural gas projects, and move ahead with projects for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in new areas. 

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The insurance reform, which includes the reduction of social security contributions from 20 percent to 15 percent over the next three years as well as structural issues, is among the 10 first bills to be tabled in parliament.

And lastly, security which has been a key component of the New Democracy party pre-election agenda.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Photo Source: @Prime Minister GR

At Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, the PM said it would be the last session to be televised. Future meetings will be held at the Maximos Mansion.

According to Naftemporiki, Mitsotakis will also demand that his ministers refrain from hiring first and second degree relatives while children and spouses of government officials will not be able to enter contracts with the State.

Additionally, ministers, deputy ministers and general and special advisors will not be allowed to hold parallel professional or business activity.

On the foreign affairs agenda, the Greek PM is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin next month.

About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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