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  • Government, creditors discuss tough reforms, taxes

    As far as the real estate tax, and the nationwide property valuations on which it is based, the target is for the government to collect 2,65bn euros in revenues.

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team

    Creditors and the government today are discussing a host of issues linked to the last bailout evaluation – from the ENFIA real estate tax to the abolition of the EKAS stipend for poor pensioners and non-performing loans (NPLs) – so that a progress report can be prepared for the24 May Eurogroup.

    As far as the real estate tax, and the nationwide property valuations on which it is based, the target is for the government to collect 2,65bn euros in revenues, whichever way the tax burden is distributed. Creditors want the final decisions on that distribution to be made by mid-June, so that formal approval can be offered at the 21 June Eurogroup.

    Labour relations, benefits

    Labour issues to be discussed today include arbitration, collective bargaining contracts, and the prospect of raising the minimum wage, which is on the government’s wish list.

    Creditors are also pressuring the government to pass a ministerial decision that would seal the abolition of the EKAS poor pensioners’ stipend at the end of 2019.

    Other benefits issues on the agenda are the form of the Social Solidarity Benefit, and the extension for one year, and on stricter terms, of the so-called Katseli law that protects debtors’ primary residence. In addition, extra-judicial mechanisms to resolve disputes, NPLs and progress with seized property auctions are also on the agenda.

    Yesterday, the two sides confirmed that pension cuts (by 18 percent) will go forward on 1 January, 2019, and that the tax-free threshold will be lowered on 1 January 2020, as previously agreed.

    International