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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-03-04

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Opposition parties welcome CoS ruling on real estate surtax
  • [02] PASOK leader: 'Everything up to us'

  • [01] Opposition parties welcome CoS ruling on real estate surtax

    AMNA -- Greece's left-wing parties on Saturday welcomed a Council of State ruling issued the previous day, which stated that to cut off the electricity of people unable to pay a property surtax charged via their power bill was unconstitutional.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) each issued announcements attacking the government over the measure, stressing that the ruling was a slap in the face for the coalition government and especially its finance minister and vice-president, Evangelos Venizelos, who considered himself an expert in constitutional law.

    In a decision reached late on Friday night, the CoS found that legislative measures requiring the Public Power Corporation (PPC) to cut off the electricity of those unable to pay a one-off property surtax were invalid and unconstitutional.

    The surtax itself was ruled constitutional and legal by the CoS justices by virtue of being temporary, since it will only be imposed for the space of two years. As a result, they said, its imposition did not contravene any Constitutional decree.

    The court left open the possibility that the surtax might also be judged unconstitutional, however, if it was converted into a permanent taxation and was again challenged at the supreme administrative court.

    The ruling was issued following a petition disputing the legality of the surtax filed by a number of bar associations throughout the country, as well as trade unions and associations of local authorities. amna

    In its announcement on Saturday, KKE urged the people to trust the party and their "own huge power" and to swell a popular resistance against all "head-taxes and policies targeting the masses".

    [02] PASOK leader: 'Everything up to us'

    AMNA--PASOK president George Papandreou on Friday said the country is going through a crucial and decisive moment in its history, referring to recent developments in relation with the efforts made to solve the problem of the Greek debt.

    Addressing the party’s political council, he underlined that "now, everything is up to us ... we should guarantee that we will do everything necessary to take the country out of the crisis safely, prevent such problems from reappearing in the future and make all the changes that could create a new landscape." amna

    He also referred to the efforts made for the successful completion of the Oct. 26, 2011 EU summit decisions, stressing that "conservative Europe", as he said, now understands that “we will not exit the crisis simply by implementing austerity measures.”

    The resigned prime minister underlined the structural reforms made in the past two years, adding that "we did what was nationally necessary" and "shouldered the burden of the country’s salvation". amna

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