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Single Property Tax Bill Spells Headaches for Government

Government coalition MPs are continuing to react to the 'single real estate tax' and are forcing the finance ministry to keep amending the bill and overturning drafts set for public debate.

In an effort to maintain internal government balances the ministry is now seeking a mixed scheme that will combine taxation on the overall real estate owned by persons, and on each single piece separately.

This solution, which seems even more complicated than the original draft bill, was the scheme arrived at by the two parliamentary groups that met with the premier's close associate Hrysanthos Lazaridis. A new draft will be presented to parties within the next few hours for comments, and the final draft is expected by mid next week.

The government, meanwhile, is attempting to lower tones in order to pass the real estate tax with as little dissent as possible and avoid a repeat of the Tzakri phenomenon.

However, PASOK MP Mihalis Kassis has openly warned he will vote against the bill if it isn't changed. Other "warning shots" came from Hristos Gogas, and Thanos Moraitis. There is also information that at least seven PASOK MPs have issued similar warnings.

At the same time, at least five New Democracy deputies have shown reluctance in voting for the bill, while party parliamentary spokesmen Manolis Kefaloyannis also expressed reservations and tendered his own version a few days ago.