Greece’s Opposition Leader Mitsotakis Wraps up Crete Tour With Promise for Lower Taxes

    With a pledge to lower taxes if his party comes to power, main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday concluded a two-day tour of eastern Crete in Agios Nikolaos, Lasithi. He said that ND’s top priority will be to reduce the taxation rate for businesses and the second priority to reduce the ENFIA property tax.

    “Overtaxation kills growth,” Mitsotakis stressed during a meeting with local business groups at the Agios Nikolaos Labor Center, noting that this was Greece’s biggest problem.
    “It brings in revenue for the budget but at a very high cost for the growth dynamic and the viability of businesses,” he said. “We cannot be proud because, quite simply, we have exceeded revenue targets as a result of ruthless overpricing.”

    He was also pessimistic about the prospects of economic recovery, noting that the country had not returned to growth, as ELSTAT had recently confirmed with its growth figures for the last quarter of 2016, “which were very bad and, in absolute figures, the worst trimester since 1998.”

    “The political instability, the sense that we have a government that does not want to implement real reforms, is having a repercussion on investors’ willingness to invest money in the market,” he said. According to Mitsotakis, 2.7% of the GDP growth target in 2017 cannot be met since the first half of the year was already lost.

    Earlier, the main opposition leader had accused the government of delaying the conclusion of the program review which, as he said, has a cost for Greece and the economy. Regarding the “positive” measures designed to offset additional reforms, Mitsotakis said these will only be activated if Greece meets a 3.5% of GDP primary surplus target.

    Referring to the bad loans, he said that New Democracy has submitted a comprehensive proposal which is simpler and more productive than the extrajudicial settlement proposed by the current government.