Greek parliament passes new tax increases

Members of Greece's Communist party march in Athens Austerity measures have triggered mass protests in recent months

The Greek parliament has approved a series of unpopular tax rises aimed at boosting revenue in line with Athens' commitments to international creditors.

The measures, approved overnight, introduce a new top tax rate of 42% for Greeks earning more than 42,000 euros (£34,700; $56,000) a year.

Corporate rates also go up and the tax base now includes low-earning farmers.

Greece has been kept solvent by huge rescue loans from its EU partners and the IMF since May 2010.

The Conservative-led government insists the new measures, designed to raise up to 2.3bn euros this year, are fair.

"We are not in favour of taxes," Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Mavraganis said. "But in the current situation we must lead the country out of its impasse."

The changes are part of an overall package approved in November to allow Greece to qualify for further bailout funds.

But the opposition say the tax rises will increase hardship for ordinary Greeks. The main opposition Radical Left Coalition says austerity has "demolished the country's middle classes".

Deep spending cuts and job losses have triggered street unrest across Greece in recent years.

More on This Story

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.