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Greek PM Tsipras unveils tax cuts ranging from corporate to VAT

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Greek PM Tsipras unveils tax cuts ranging from corporate to VAT
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech during the opening of the annual International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki, in Thessaloniki, Greece, September 8, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas   -   Copyright  COSTAS BALTAS(Reuters)
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THESSALONIKI, Greece (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday unveiled plans for wide-ranging tax cuts, less than a month after the country emerged from a bailout programme financed by its EU partners and the IMF.

At a keynote policy speech in Thessaloniki, Tsipras promised a phased-in reduction of corporate tax to 25 percent from its present level of 29 percent from next year, a reduction in value added tax from 2021 and a reduction of between 50 and 30 percent in a deeply unpopular property tax slapped on homeowners each year.

Tsipras said that a pledge to maintain a primary budget surplus at the equivalent of 3.5 percent of GDP could be achieved without further pension cuts – measures which were expected to be implemented in 2019.

The leftist premier said he would also reinstate labour rights, increase the country’s minimum wage and that the state would either reduce or subsidise social security contributions for certain sections of the workforce.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Michele Kambas)

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