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Attempted reforms amidst strikes and refugee flood

02 November 2015 / 11:11:21  GRReporter
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A crucial week is in store for the government of Alexis Tsipras, in which it must submit to parliament the second bill of the measures required for the payment of the 2 billion tranche. The bill must be tabled on Thursday but it provoked violent reactions and discontent even today. The Hellenic Federation of Port Workers will be on strike today and tomorrow, farmers have deployed tractors on public roads, threatening with roadblocks and a general strike is scheduled for 12 November.
    By the end of the week, the government must decide whether it will impose a 23% VAT on private education in the country. There are apparent signs that the economic team of Tsipras is seeking other solutions for the 400 million euro that would come from the tax. So far, however, it is only clear what the government will not do - it will not raise VAT on veal, it will not raise the excise duties on alcohol and cigarettes and it will not increase the road tax.
    Non-performing loans continue to be the major problem of the Ministry of Finance and in this regard, the government seems to seriously rely on European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pierre Moscovici whose visit is planned for Tuesday and Wednesday. He should take out from his sleeve a magic solution, acceptable to both the Greek radical left and the Eurozone finance ministers, who will gather at a meeting next Monday.
    The refugee flood is another of Tsipras’ troubles and in this case, hopes are associated with European Parliament President Martin Schulz. He will be in Greece on Wednesday and Thursday and will visit some of the most affected islands of the Aegean. The government's plans envisage the partial opening of the wall along the border with Turkey in the Evros region. As GRReporter has already informed, the refugee issue will be one of the main issues during Tsipras' upcoming visit to Turkey.
    This week the Greek Ministry of Finance must find a solution to a number of tax matters too. One of them is the road tax, which is expected to remain high for powerful cars and for cars with a high market price. At the same time, the government will probably impose a road tax on diesel and environmentally friendly cars, which have been previously exempt from it.
    There is no final decision on family allowances, nor on the aid for heating oil.

Tags: Alexis TsiprasRefugee floodWall along the border with Turkey in EvrosMartin SchulzPierre MoscoviciNon-performing loans
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