Greece’s Supreme Court of Civil and Penal Law ruled the special property tax levied through the electricity bills as unconstitutional and opposite to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The so-called “haratsi,” a scornful tag from taxes during the Ottoman Occupation, was introduced in 2011 by Evangelos Venizelos who was the Greek Finance Minister at that time.
Today’s decision will be referred to the plenary of Greece’s Supreme Court for the final decision, as the judges voted 3 for and 2 against on Friday.
According to the reasoning of the Supreme Court’s decision, the “haratsi” is imposed according to property criteria (square meters etc) and not according to economic criteria of each individual taxpayer who has suffered painful cuts in salaries, pensions and now obligated to pay extra taxation.
All these strict measures and the extra financial obligations are very hard to meet by the taxpayers. These financial strains are responsible for disrupting family harmony and for the decline in people’s living standards.
The special property tax was originally planned for two years but in the process it became a permanent measure by Greece’s coalition government. A measure that is an additional burden to Greek taxpayers in times of great recession, unemployment and severe cuts in salaries and pensions.