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Taxes

Greek property tax chaos ends after Prime Minister's interference

Puzzled and angry homeowners in Greece have breathed a sigh of relief after an overhaul of the country's property tax was withdrawn. Officials had created utter chaos by making serious mistakes in value assessment.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had decreed the value of real estate to once again to be assessed in line with the regulations put in place last year, with the order coming into effect Thursday.

His interference followed an outcry of homeowners who had been asked to pay up to 10 times as much in property taxes than they had to shell out before a recent overhaul of the tax system.

The government had been scrambling to correct the vastly inflated sums that homeowners were requested to pay, admitting that officials had made serious mistakes in calculating the property tax.

Watered down already

According to media reports, the mistakes in question were made not least because many experienced officials had been pensioned off in the wake of the debt-stricken nation's austerity policies.

Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis admitted the regulations that caused the interim chaos had originally been even harsher.

"I took charge of this a month ago and corrected mistakes which you haven't even seen, affecting some 2 million people," he told parliament.

hg/cjc (AFP, dpa)

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