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Budget Discussion Causes Internal Gripes

New Democracy MP Dora Bakoyanni expressed doubts on whether the 2014 budget serves developmental goals at the Parliament's committee on economic affairs, which is reviewing the new draft budget ,on Wednesday.

Commenting on a recent interview by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, Bakoyanni claimed that Greeks are being over-taxed. "The real estate tax has increased eight-fold. The middle class is collapsing. Thousands of households and law abiding citizens are selling their properties at any price to pay their taxes. Businesses have reached their limits. Savings have been lost and family budgets have been exhausted," she noted.

Bakoyanni called for the reduction of tax revenues by 1 billion euros and suggested raising this amount through combating oil smuggling and tax evasion as well as speeding up structural changes already underway in the public sector.

New Democracy deputy, Andreas Lykourentzos noted that the privatization program is lagging and government estimates are overoptimistic.SYRIZA MP Panagiotis Lafazanis was critical of the parliament which "for the first time, discusses a budget to be drawn up by others- the troika," and accused Mr. Stournaras of "incorporating measures in the budget which have not been voted on by the parliament."