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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-12-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Tsipras: SYRIZA ready to stop country's destruction
  • [02] Draft bill for abolition, merger of public-sector agencies tabled in par'l
  • [03] Organ donation law will allow opt-out
  • [04] Deal with Swiss on taxing deposits possibly in 2013
  • [05] PPC seeks increase in electricity rates up to 48.7%
  • [06] Shipping executives defend tax incentives

  • [01] Tsipras: SYRIZA ready to stop country's destruction

    AMNA--Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday repeated his party's readiness to take over the reins of power and stressed that the present government must go, while addressing a meeting of SYRIZA's Parliamentary group.

    "The only thing that must now be done using emergency procedures is not to pass pro-Memorandum laws but to get rid of this government that is casting the country and the people into misery," Tsipras said.amna

    A national salvation government with SYRIZA at its core is "coming as a necessity and no one can stop it," he added, stressing that SYRIZA was ready to take on the task of "stopping the destruction of the country" and proceed with rebuilding the shattered economy.amna

    He underlined that nothing could stop this happening, even if the government went ahead with planned changes to electoral laws toward simple proportional representation.

    "Suddenly, they are hankering for simple proportional representation. Let them bring it tomorrow. Whatever they do, they will only succeed in fuelling our people's desire for a great political change," the main opposition leader said.amna

    Attacking the government coalition, he accused it of "religious devotion" to the German government's plans to convert Greece into a 'Special Economic Zone'.

    An earlier party announcement also slammed the finance minister's intervention to continue collecting a property surtax via electricity bills, in spite of court decisions finding that the forced levy of the tax in this manner was unlawful.amna

    "This proves that the memorandum coalition government will stop at nothing, neither court decisions nor laws," SYRIZA stressed, but was prepared to do anything to "wipe out working people financially and throw them destitute into the nets of savage exploitation and the dark ages of labour".

    [02] Draft bill for abolition, merger of public-sector agencies tabled in par'l

    AMNA--A draft bill for the abolition and merger of various public-sector agencies, both in the civil service and the broader public sector, was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday evening. The bill also creates a general secretariat "to coordinate the government's work" and other measures. The draft bill will now go before the appropriate Parliamentary committee for processing.

    [03] Organ donation law will allow opt-out

    AMNA--Greek citizens will be able to opt out of having their organs donated after death once a new blanket law of "Presumed Consent" goes into effect on June 1, 2013, the National Transplant Organisation (EOM) said on Tuesday. amna

    Responding to online reports, EOM said that there is no deadline for opting out. Citizens will also be able to exempt their underage children. The law is strict on donations, and no organ may be removed from cadavers without family consent, the agency noted.

    [04] Deal with Swiss on taxing deposits possibly in 2013

    AMNA--Provided all goes well, Greece should be ready to sign an agreement with Switzerland for the taxation of Greek deposits in that country by early 2013, Deputy Finance Minister George Mavraganis said in Parliament on Tuesday. He was speaking to Parliament's Economic Affairs Committee during a discussion on two draft bills modifying existing rules for avoiding double taxation with Belgium and Switzerland.amna

    Opposition MPs on the committee criticised the proposed modifications, saying that they did little to improve the extremely limited framework for exchanging information on such issues.

    [05] PPC seeks increase in electricity rates up to 48.7%

    AMNA--Public Power Corporation (PPC) plans to raise households' electricity rates by 14.5 percent to 48.7 percent, to freeze a social household rate, a special rate for families with more than three children and to change the scale of energy charges.

    PPC has submitted its proposals to the country's energy watchdog, seeking to raise electricity rates from 2013. PPC asked for a trade weighted increase in rates of 24.9 percent next year and to implement this new price policy in three stages: 10.8 percent on January 1, 6.3 percent on May 1 and 6.1 percent on July 1 when electricity rates will be fully liberalized.amna

    The country's energy market watchdog believes that electricity rate increases are inevitable, but stressed that its recommendations to the government would be based primarily on what benefits consumers and the national economy

    [06] Shipping executives defend tax incentives

    AMNA--Greek merchant shipping executives on Tuesday said their industry was an international activity, operating through a grid of off-shore enterprises, while Greek shipowners, along with shipping companies, could not be an exception to this international environment.

    Speaking to AMNA, the shipping executives said that if the government wished to abolish certain tax breaks offered to shipping companies it should first proceed with an amendment of article 107 of the Greek Constitution (protecting capital abroad) which offered tax advantages in order to attract shipping companies to Greece. amna

    The executives stressed that if the government decided to tax shipping companies then the majority of them would have to relocate their base outside Greece. They noted, however, that several shipping companies have chosen to be based in Greece not only because of tax incentives, but because of the expert and capable personnel transporting the know-how of the sea in the land.

    The shipping executives were commenting on a question tabled in arliament by seven main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party deputies over tax priviledges offered to shipping companies.amna

    Merchant Marine Minister Costis Mousouroulis, addressing a forum organized by WISTA Hellas on "The Greek state and Greek shipping –can they pace together?", said that the shipping sector offered valuable funds to the country and reiterated the state's will to continue supporting the industry with all its powers.

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