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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-05-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK leader to address NGOs int'l meeting

  • [01] PASOK leader to address NGOs int'l meeting

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader and Socialist International (SI) President George Papndreou will address the 7th Annual World Meeting of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Glascow, United Kingdom, on the theme "The relations of the society of citizens with political parties-Allies or Opponents?"

    Addressing Thursday the annual general assembly of Greece's largest employers' union, the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB), Papandreou unveiled a series of policies he said will form the centrepiece of a future PASOK government's economic reform package.

    Papandreou, a former foreign minister in two successive PASOK governments until 2004, initially referred to a "new social pact for development and employment" before listing off a number of measures to boost employment and job security, including a four-year period of lower social security contributions by newly hired young people. Another measure would allow laid-off older workers the opportunity to transform state-allocated unemployment benefits into an "employment" or self-employment subsidy, whereas wage-earners laid-off shortly before reaching retirement age will be given priority in certain public sector hirings in order to accumulate the necessary amount of work days towards obtaining a full pension.

    Papandreou also announced several measures he said aim at widespread simplification of the corporate tax regime, such as index-linked tax scales. Conversely, he said profits and dividends paid out by enterprises to staff and shareholders would be taxed as personal income, in tandem with a new tax on short-term market transactions.

    Additionally, he said various property taxes would be lumped into one unified duty, whose proceeds would be funnelled towards local government entities, while more effective measures would be taken to tax real estate holdings in the country belonging to off-shore companies.

    Finally, Papandreou said the so-called large property holding tax would be overhauled to benefit truly small property owners while exacting a "fairer share" from large property owners.

    "My personal commitment is not to exercise a personal policy of favouritism, but a policy that will ensure healthy competition, with the goal being the country's (increased) competitiveness. We do not want citizens or businesspeople to act as beggars vis-a-vis the state for the things they are entitled to," Papandreou said.

    The PASOK leader said a simplification of Greece's often maze-like tax codes means less bookkeeping procedures and regulations for firms, and more transparency in dealing with tax authorities. Moreover, he also said a PASOK government goal will be to create "national and regional" business champions.

    He began his address by again sharply criticising the government over the ongoing bonds purchase affair, charging that the current government has squandered state's trustworthiness and undermined the justice system, public administration, the political parties, the business world, the law enforcement sector and the unions.

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