2015-10-12 09:30:00

Greeks brace for fresh austerity measures

(Vatican Radio)  Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has renewed his pledge to pull the bailout reliant country out of financial crisis by 2019 ahead of the implementation of new austerity measures, which are being mitigated with support for the poor.

Listen to John Carr's report:

The Greeks this week are bracing for an attack of fresh austerity measures – 48 of them, to be exact – that have to be rushed through the Parliament here in Athens if Greek banks are to have any hope of lifting three months of capital controls.

Chief among these measures are savage tax hikes that target mainly property and homeowners, and bid fair to further depress a real estate market and cause further hardship for large swaths of Greek society.  They’re among the reforms that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to in July after being strong-armed by Greece’s creditors and European leaders.

More slices are also being taken off pensions, and serial tax evaders are now being threatened with jail.  The Greek government says it wants to encourage the use of plastic money as much as possible, to make sure taxes are paid.

Greece’s opposition parties, from right to left, have raised a storm of protest. But Tsipras is counting on his continued personal popularity to get these new bitter pills swallowed, as the Greeks are about to face their worst winter of discontent yet.

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