PASOK MP’s Want Tax Talk Answers

Greek Deputy PM Evangelos Venizelos has both supported and opposed austerity
Greek Deputy PM Evangelos Venizelos has both supported and opposed austerity

Nervous lawmakers from the PASOK Socialists who are the junior partner in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and New Democracy Conservative party leader’s government say they want an explanation about taxes they say are damaging to the ruling parties.

New Democracy has fallen behind the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) in polls while PASOK, whose leader Evangelos Venizelos is Deputy Premier/Foreign Minister, has plummeted to between 3-5 percent and would be irrelevant and powerless if it had not given its votes to Samaras and acceded to harsh austerity measures, including tax hikes.

There are only 26 PASOK MP’s left in the 300-member Parliament after Venizelos ejected some for refusing to obey his orders to back austerity and some want to meet Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and General Secretary for revenues Haris Theocharis to get some answers over their plans for reforms demanded by international lenders, including taxes.

The lawmakers who are now feeling anxiety over taxes have voted for them. It wasn’t said if Venizelos had given his  consent for them to question the government officials.

Farmers are protesting new tax regulations, including the need for them to keep records and have taken to blocking roads, making some MPs uneasy, but there are also concerns in the government about the impact of other tax-related issues, such as a proposed capital gains tax on property.

Samaras and Venizelos have discussed them as well and the PASOK chief was said to have some concerns but he has mostly relented after putting up a public squawk. Samaras told New Democracy’s parliamentary group last week that there would be adjustments to iron out “mistakes and injustices.”

Venizelos was in Strasbourg on Feb. 4 and met with Hannes Swoboda, leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, and Parliament President Martin Schulz, who hopes to become European Commission President.

They discussed the possibility of Schulz visiting Greece in early March and attending a joint congress that PASOK will hold with the fellow center-left Movement of the 58, with whom the Socialists will stand in May’s European Parliament elections in a bid dto shore up their eroding base.


  1. It is not anxiety but desperation that is causing PASOK’s MPs to question their earlier votes affirming taxes and deepened austerity. A look at recent developments reveals more taxes and austerity are on the way that is indefensible given Samaras’ and Stournaras’ prognostications of no new austerity. No matter how the new measures are packaged and described austerity is austerity.
    Their quandary now is whether to stick it out and suffer the ridicule and torment of their constituents, or cut and run for the “safety” of SYRIZA. Fear is a the motivating factor as the polls indicate the extinction threshold is rapidly approaching for the party of Venizelos. These worthless souls have wasted enough of our time and more importantly our money. SYRIZA would be wise to treat them as outcasts put them to sea on a recently vacated dhow pointed in the direction of Turkey.

  2. The present coalition has served a purpose there time is over, its time to rebuild Greece
    Get rid of the parasites that have ruled and ruined Greece for 50 years
    The future is not black

  3. More cracks appear in the corrupt, rotten, shaky Venizelos-Samaras Junta. The Junta’s remaining life can be measured in months.


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