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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-02-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign nationals account for 10.3% of population, survey shows
  • [02] Minister praises emergency services in handling northern flood
  • [03] No plan to hike VAT, finmin says

  • [01] Foreign nationals account for 10.3% of population, survey shows

    Foreign nationals residing in Greece were estimated at about 1.15 million people at the end of 2004, or 10.3% of the population, up from 270,000 in 1991, the Immigration Policy Institute said on Sunday.

    A survey by the institute showed that the largest concentration of non-Greek nationals was in municipal Athens at 132,000, representing about 17% of the city's population.

    Next came the northern port city of Thessaloniki with 27,000 immigrants, or 7.0% of its population.

    Between July 2003 and October 2004, 700,000 residence permits were issued with 509,000 permits in force in January 2004, which fell to 250,000 permits in September of the same year, the survey showed.

    The highest percentage of immigrants with residence permits were Albanians at 63.2%, followed by Bulgarians (9.8%), Romanians (4.3%), Ukrainians (3.4%), Pakistanis (2.4%), and Georgians (2.2%).

    [02] Minister praises emergency services in handling northern flood

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Sunday praised handling by state services of flooding in the northeast after the Evros river broke its banks.

    "The state's presence was effective, acted to prevent damage, and, despite the volume of water that was unprecedented for Evros, there have been no problems," Pavlopoulos told reporters in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

    Speaking at the scene of flooding, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Nikos Tsiartsionis welcomed a drop in the water level to 6.08 metres from 6.25 metres but warned that the situation remained critical.

    [03] No plan to hike VAT, finmin says

    Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said in an interview published on Sunday that the government had no plans to increase Value Added Tax (VAT).

    "I believe this would a very bad move for the economy. This means that some taxes could rise marginally. I'm talking about luxury taxes and taxes on certain specialised products and goods," Alogoskoufis told the Sunday Ethnos newspaper.

    The minister was asked to comment on talk that indirect taxes or VAT may rise.

    "Increasing taxation is not part of our rationale. We want to increase tax revenue by widening the tax base and combatting tax evasion. Here there is a lot of leeway, although time is needed, the minister said.

    Asked to explain the government's policy on public sector workers, Alogoskoufis noted that incentives were required to boost output, and that drastically reducing the number of state employees, as some favoured, was neither easy nor desireable.

    Staff reduction could only be achieved by a tight recruitment policy, he added.


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