Earmuffs time for Europe's carefully sculpted theater of goodwill, solidarity and cohesion. Because this has to be some sort of record. Hours after Greece got its much desired two year bailout extension of Deutsche Bank from Germany Europe, Greece is already in breach of the terms it, and Europe, all "fought so hard" for. From Kathimerini: "A planned 25 percent increase in the price of public transport tickets next March is to be postponed until October, the general secretary of the Development Ministry, Nikos Stathopoulos, said on Tuesday. The increase originally demanded by the troika would have pushed the price of a ticket for all modes of public transport to 1.75 euros from 1.40." Instead the Troika's demand is overruled, and in its place is a promise that some efficiency has been extracted elsewhere, until of course, said promise is probed and uncovered to have also been a lie.
“We managed to postpone the increase until October, from March, and we hope to eventually be able to avert the measure,” Stathopoulos said, attributing the change of plan to a crackdown on fare dodging on public transport.
Sources told Kathimerini last month that the campaign has contributed to a 9 percent increase in ticket purchases, bringing in nearly 300,000 euros in revenue in just three weeks.
Perhaps a far better indication of Greek society is that the local ministry is now making provisions to reimburse travellers with prepaid transit cards for "strike days" on which the transport services are offline. Lately, this has been a majority of them.
The ministry is also planning to change the regulations relating to weekly, monthly and annual travelcards to allow commuters to be reimbursed for strike days when transport services do not operate. Earlier this week, the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA) said it was not obliged to compensate travelcard holders who were unable to use public transport last week because of a series of strikes by employees.
As for what one can expected from a "reformed" and "contrite" Greece, here it goes: "The Finance Ministry admitted on Tuesday it does not know the identities of the owners of the 500,000 properties for which last year’s special tax levied via electricity bills was not paid."
In a written response to a parliamentary question, Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Mavraganis stated the tax corresponding to each electricity connection may not be listed in the name of the owner, but in that of the tenant, a former or a deceased owner etc. However, Public Power Corporation and the alternative power suppliers charged with collecting the tax submitted lists of tax evaders to the ministry in May.
In other words, not only has Greece not stepped up its tax collections efforts, it has no idea who or where the tax evaders are as part of its much (self) lauded plan from 2011 to boost government revenues...
If and when the ministry establishes who is supposed to pay for each property, tax authorities will issue payment orders including fines. Confiscating salaries and properties would be a last-resort measure.
Would that be the 14th monthly salary, or 16th for the Parliamentary workers? Either way, we are certin they are all shaking in their boots. Shaking.