Mitsotakis promises to lower taxes, social security contributions if elected

12 March 2018
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Main opposition New Democracy (ND) president Kyriakos Mitsotakis again promised lower taxes and social contributions in Greece, if he and his party win the next general election, saying the goal is to achieve sustainable growth in the crisis-bedeviled east Mediterranean country.

The center-right political leader, whose seen his ND party lead ruling SYRIZA in every mainstream opinion poll by double-digit percentage points for more than a year now, was quoted in an interview published by the Sunday edition of the Athens newspaper “Eleftheros Typos”.

Mitsotakis also promised to lessen the burden on now tax- and contribution-swamped self-employed professionals in the country, while again criticizing the leftist-rightist coalition government for agreeing to painful obligations vis-a-vis creditors for many more years, as he claimed.

“We want a clean and final exit from the memorandums (bailout agreements), but the government, unfortunately, has committed the country, for many years to come, to memorandum conditions that foresee harsh austerity … with high primary budget surpluses, new and even greater social security cuts and a reduction of the tax-fee income ceiling … the real question, therefore, is how and with what government the country can go forward; to borrow cheaply from the markets and not be vulnerable to volatility,” he said.

Turning to resurgent tension in Greek-Turkish relations, Mitsotakis said he will brief US officials, during an upcoming visit to the United States, over recent incidents in the eastern Aegean, around Cyprus and even the continuing incarceration of two Greek servicemen by Turkish authorities, after the pair allegedly strayed into Turkish territory nearly two weeks ago.

He also called the Tsipras government’s handling of the latter case as “irresponsible and reckless”.

Finally, Mitsotakis promised – if elected prime minister – to immediately change the election law, which the current government changed in favor of a more simple representational system.

In a separate interview published by the Sunday weekly “RealNews”, current finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos promised to “gradually lift injustices, to reinforce the lower (economic) strata and the middle class after August, with the conclusion of the program (the third bailout).”

The previously UK-based leftwing economics professor nevertheless added that his government does not intend “to derail the country, fiscally speaking … and return to the distorted environment before 2008.”

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