Saturday, October 25, 2014

Revisiting life in Greece under Troika rule ( October 25 - 26 , 2014 ) - Austerity hits Greek MPS with predictable squealing .... Greece Government dances with Troika over perpetual bailout and debt proposals...

Keep Talking Greece ....


LOL Ex-Minister complains about cuts in MPs’ salaries and allowances

Posted by  in Politics
Ex minister for Health and Nea Dimokratia MP Adonis Georgiadis complained about the cuts in MP’s pay and perks. “Greek MPs have suffered the biggest cuts in their salary and allowances than any other branch in the government,” he claimed adding “the salary cuts reached 60% and the parliamentary pensions went down 70%.”
Georgiadis was speaking to the Parliament when he said all these nice things that were heard by millions of Greeks whose wages and salaries cuts sent them to bite the cloth of hunger.
He also complained about the taxation of MPs’ salaries and office allowance and claimed that members of the Parliament suffered the biggest salary cuts than the citizens.
What he forgot to mention is that still MPs receive a monthly salary of €6,500, when the average salary in the private sector is hardly €1,000 gross independently of skills, PhDs and  years of working experience.
Of course, he also avoid to mention that an MP gets a pension after having being elected for two legislation periods (4×2= 8 years), while privater sector workers need to complete 35-40 years of work.


Death by Taxation: Greeks’ debts to tax office reach €70billion in September

Posted by  in Economy
It is a never ending horror spiral of tax debts and tax collection in recession-, austerity- and overtaxation-hit Greece. While many taxpayers make arrangements with the state to pay old debts and do indeed pay the installments month in, month out,  they do not manage to pay their taxes for the running year. Taxpayers’ “good will” is not enough, when income is low and pockets are empty.
“Tax debts to the Greek state hit a new record in September, reaching a total of 70.16 billion euros from 69.24 billion euros in August, the General Secretariat for Public Revenues said on Tuesday.
New debts in the January-September period came to 9.68 billion euros, added to a total shortfall of 60.48 billion dating from before 2013. in September alone, taxpayers ran up debts of 923 million euros, the secretariat said.
In the nine-month period from January to September, the state managed to collect 2.69 billion euros in arrears, or 14.16 percent, missing the target set by the troika for 2 billion euros in revenues from old debts by the end of the year and the collection of 25 percent of all new debts” (ekathimerini)
The same happen with debts to Public Power Company DEH. Debtors make arrangements and pay the installments of their old debts, but they are unable to pay the current bills.
PS We will die before we manage to pay our debts first. Growth can wait.


Rhodes: Jobless father hands out baby to tax office, after FinMin confiscates his last €300

Posted by  in Society
A desperate jobless father entered the tax office in Rhodes holding in his arms his 1.5-year-old baby. “Take it,” he told the stunned tax officers “I cannot feed it anymore.” A day earlier, the divorced father had found out that the tax office had confiscated 300 euro from his bank account, money that was deposited by the mother for the monthly child’s support.
Once the tax officers informed him that the confiscation was due to outstanding debts to the tax office and that the money could not be returned, the father offered them his child.
The 35-year-old father explained that he was led to a deadlock, since he was unemployed for quite some time. He complained that he was unable to take care of his child without this money and that the state was depriving him from the opportunity to raise his child with dignity.
After the case made the rounds in local and national media, the tax office in Rhodes issued a statement saying that “the bank account was registered as ‘recalcitrant‘ but the account holder had failed to update the status for 2014.”
According to confiscation law for debts to the state, tax offices can automatically grab money from debtors’ bank accounts unless, the accounts have less than 1,500 euro and have been registered as “unconfiscatable’.
Local media report that the head of the tax office promised to return the confiscated amount to the father, however chances are slim due to the notorious Greek bureaucracy.
In Greece of economic and humanitarian crisis, the state is quick in grabbing and confiscated money from the poor and needy debtors. Numbers and “primary surpluses” seem to be more important than human fates and needs.
But when it comes to “big money” and “big debts” the state always finds ways to come clear. Just a couple of days ago, coalition government partners Nea Dimokratia and PASOK passed a regulation through the Parliament, according to which
“40of total state funding to political parties cannot be confiscated.” The reasoning for this decision is that “political parties are legal entities of public purpose and that they need a minimum assured income to ensure their sustainability.” (
According to main opposition party SYRIZA, the debts of Nea Dimokratia and PASOK to the banks amount some 270-300 million euros.
Debtors can certainly make arrangements to pay debts to the state  but the deal becomes invalid once the debtor misses the payment of one installment. However, Greece’s lenders, the Troika, oppose arrangements of more than 50+ installments.
Odd enough, Education Minister Andreas Loverdos said Thursday that a private educational institution with debts to the state amounting several million euros had made an arrangement to pay installments of just 160 euro per month.
“We will be dead and gone until this gentleman has paid his debts,” Loverdos stressed.
So how could this gentleman make such an arrangement with the tax office, when the Greek government struggles to get the green light from the Troika and facilitate debtors to pay in 75 or 100 payment installments?
In the list of private education institutions(IEK) given to the public by Loverdos, the highest debt to the state is 11 million euros, the majority of debts of the other IEK are in the average two or three million euros.
PS here in Greece, it’s all a matter of good connections and power….


Debt pay plan may hurt talks

 Troika was belatedly notified and will likely lean on Athens to take measures to absorb fiscal impact
 Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis addresses Parliament on Friday, as a wreath adorns the podium to mark the October 28 national holiday.
By Roula Salourou and Sotiris Nikas
A new regulation regarding payment programs for debts to the state and social security funds has added more thorny issues to the already difficult negotiations between the government and its creditors, the European Central Bank, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund.
In an effort to give debtors a breather, the government eventually opted for a major increase in the number of installments and a reduction in the amount due concerning tax and social security contribution arrears (due to the waiving of fines etc). Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis told Parliament on Friday that “there will be no income restrictions in order to allow for the greatest possible number of taxpayers to enter the payment programs,” and that “even tax debts run up after October 1 could be incorporated into the payment schemes too.”
However changing the entry terms and conditions for the payment programs has made Athens’s negotiations with the troika even tougher.
The first reason for that is that the government submitted the regulation without having first secured the consent of its creditors. The troika’s technical team reportedly received the details of the regulation after its submission in Parliament. Athens has made unilateral moves of such a nature on other occasions too, but this won’t make talks with the creditors any easier.
The second reason is that although there can be no safe estimate of the payment programs’ fiscal impact, the general consensus is that the end result will probably be negative, not positive. Revenues will likely be lower than was the case with previous programs, even though more debtors are expected to join the new scheme. As a result the troika is likely to increase the fiscal gap for 2015 that it already estimates at 2 billion euros. That could mean additional demands to cover the new hole in the budget created by the debt repayment programs. , Friday October 24, 2014 (20:49)  

No decisions yet on Greek bailout, says Samaras

 Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrives for a European Union summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on Friday.
The European Union leaders’ summit concluded in Brussels on Friday without any concrete decisions having been taken about Greece’s economic future despite Prime Minister Antonis Samaras holding a series with top officials.
“Nothing has been decided yet,” said Samaras at a news conference, during which he added that discussions about Greece exiting its bailout at the end of the year with a precautionary credit line are continuing.
Samaras met on Friday with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi as well as French President Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Dutch President Mark Rutte, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Irish leader Enda Kenny.
“They are all sympathetic to our cause,” said Samaras, without giving any more details about his talks on the sidelines of the European Council.
“Our aim is to return to normality and for Greece to become a normal country,” added the premier, who admitted that the lack of economic growth in the eurozone as well as geopolitical dangers in other parts of the world are creating concern about how Greece might cope if it leaves its bailout.
Reuters reported on Friday that the government has sent a letter to the EU and the International Monetary Fund outlining its case for demands for further pension reform to be removed from the ongoing review of the Greek program. An official told the news agency that Athens argues in the letter that the current pension system is viable until 2060.
The troika had asked the government to merge several supplementary pension funds by next month but this would lead to a further cut to pensions, which the coalition wants to avoid. , Friday October 24, 2014 (20:44)