Greece Plans Swimming Pool, Luxury Car Tax

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 | 3:16 AM ET
Oli Scarff | Getty Images

The Greek government submitted a multi-pronged draft law to parliament late on Tuesday, scrambling to pass policies agreed with its international lenders as conditions for the release of further bailout funding.

Athens secured a lifeline from its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund on Monday, but the aid will be drip-fed to ensure it carries out unpopular reforms, including job cuts to shrink its public sector.

"Our aim is to have the bill voted by parliament by July 19," a finance ministry official told Reuters. "We expect it to pass as we have the required majority."

Passage of the bill will help Athens show its creditors it is serious about cutting thousands of public sector jobs by the end of the year and modernizing the tax code.

Among the measures included in the bill are job cuts for school guards, municipal police and other local government posts.

Athens failed to deliver on a June deadline to place 12,500 state workers into a "mobility scheme", under which they are transferred or laid off within a year.

Municipal workers and school teachers have taken to the streets of Athens since Monday to protest against the layoffs.

Other measures in the bill include a luxury tax that will be levied on houses with swimming pools and owners of high performance cars, expected to bring in about 100 million euros annually.

As part of efforts to plug fiscal gaps, including a shortfall of more than 1 billion euros at state-run health insurer EOPYY, the bill sets annual spending limits on outlays to diagnostic clinics and healthcare facilities.


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