FinMin briefs PASOK parliamentary committee on negotiations with Troika

Finance minister Evangelos Venizelos briefed the ruling PASOK party parliamentary group's committee on the economy on his talks earlier with the EU-IMF troika leaders on Thursday.
The parliamentary group committee was in session since Thursday morning to discuss the government's Medium-Term fiscal programme and its application law.

Venizelos described the climate as "gloomy".

 Venizelos' efforts are focusing on how to ensure the required revenues but with measures that will maintain a social nature without putting at risk the government's agreement with its lenders regarding the Medium-Term programme, which the lenders consider a prerequisite for disbursement of the 12 billion euro 5th tranche of the 110 billion euro EU-IMF bailout loan to Greece, according to sources.

The sources said that Venizelos briefed the MPs on some changes being made to the programme, such as reduction of the tax-free ceiling on incomes to 8,000 euros from the present 12,000 euros.

Pensioners over 65, young people up to 30 years of age and people with disabilities will be excluded from the tax-free ceiling reduction. Also, the 200,000 euros tax-free ceiling per capita on real estate will also be maintained, while a previously planned tax of one euro per square meter will not be added to electricity bills. Further, the price of heating oil will be increased by 5 percent per year until its gradual equalisation with vehicle fuel by 2013, the sources said.

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