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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-21

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Samaras slams government 'inertia'
  • [02] Court rules one-off levy on high incomes unconstitutional
  • [03] Anti-crime plan announced

  • [01] Samaras slams government 'inertia'

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras attacked the government's economic policies on Monday, after a meeting with Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos.

    Samaras accused the government of inertia and inactivity and stressed that "every day that passes by with procrastination and wrong messages is at the expense of the economy and the country."

    "What is required is a realistic programme with specific and cost-assessed proposals for dealing with the economic crisis," he emphasised.

    ND's leader said that he had been fully briefed on all issues relating to the economy during his first meeting with Provopoulos and he stressed that he would agree with government policy when this was necessary but would criticise those things he disagreed with.

    [02] Court rules one-off levy on high incomes unconstitutional

    An Administrative First Instance Court in Athens ruled Monday that a one-off levy imposed by the previous government on high incomes was unconstitutional. The levy was imposed through a 2009 law seeking to plug holes in a gaping budget deficit and was taken from those that had declared an annual income greater than 60,000 euros in their last tax statement. The Greek State is expected to appeal the decision and a definitive ruling will be issued by the Council of State, the country's supreme administrative court.

    According to the court decision No 18440/2009, the one-off levy is retrospective in nature because it was calculated based on the income gained in 2007, before Jan. 1, 2008. Therefore, the court found that this made the levy illegal because it was in conflict with article 87 paragraph 2 of the Constitution.

    The court also ordered that the plaintiff that brought the case, who had paid the sum of 10,000 euros to a tax office in Psychiko Athens, be refunded.

    [03] Anti-crime plan announced

    Citizens' Protection Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis on Monday said that his ministry was working on a new plan for dealing with rising crime levels, which in certain key areas was around 50 percent or more.

    Speaking during a press conference, the minister said that the Greek Police intended to come to grips with crime and respond to the public's demand for greater security.

    Chrysohoidis cited statistical figures collected by security services, according to which there was a sharp increase in serious crimes. As examples, he pointed to a 62 percent rise in sexual exploitation crimes, a 60 percent rise in crimes of extortion, a 50 percent increase in super market robberies and a 43 percent rise in bank and other kinds of robberies.

    The minister also made a link between terrorism and organised crime, saying that this entire range of criminal activity would be tackled by creating a central service for fighting organised crime. This large central service will then be sub-divided into smaller sections for separate categories of organised crime, such as fraud, electronic crime, drugs, mafia-style operations, trading in "imitation" goods and terrorism.

    Chrysohoidis revealed that, according to information collected by the police, there existed a sort of "revolutionary fund" into which money from robberies and kidnappings was collected. This was then used by terrorists in order to buy guns, rockets and other weaponry.

    "There will soon be answers on these issues from the police and the answers will be judged by justice," he added.

    On the issue of violence linked to sports, the minister said that the police were cooperating with the state in order to deal with this phenomenon and with the head of the Greek Football Federation Sophocles Pilavios to stamp out illegal betting.

    "Experts from UEFA will soon be arriving to train the Greek police in tackling this form of crime,"

    Chrysohoidis told reporters.

    He also announced plans to write letters to the other ministers involved in dealing with the problems of illegal drug users and the drug rehabilitation service OKANA.

    "We must put a stop to the running of crime from within prisons," Chrysohoidis stressed, emphasising the serious problems that Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis had to deal with.

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