IMF chart shows more than 50 per cent of Greek homes pay NO income tax
As the country tries to clamber out of its debts, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said more than half of homes are paying zero income tax.
The average in Europe for households making no contribution stands at around 8 per cent – but in Greece it is above 50.
Income tax is the payment taken from people in employment which goes towards Government funded projects such as schools, prisons, police and the armed forces.
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We need to apply the principles that we apply to all countries because we are lending international community money
Since fewer people are paying towards the Government, Greece cannot meet the IMF repayment schedule, sliding the nation further into debt.
Greeks were angered by the austerity measures imposed on their country by the IMF, making the Government’s position more difficult.
Despite the country clearly struggling, the IMF has said it cannot compromise for prime minister Alexis Tsipras and offer a sweetheart deal for his country.
Managing Director Christine Lagarde said: “We have been asked to help, but can only help at terms and conditions that are even-handed.
“In other words we cannot cut a special sweet deal for a particular country because it is that country.
“We need to apply the principles that we apply to all countries because we are lending international community money.
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IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said Greece will not get a 'sweetheart' deal
Countries paying less than 10 per cent income tax included Ireland, France, Slovakia and Estonia.
The country closest to the Greek figure is Finland at around 20 per cent.
Despite some countries being small in comparison to Greece – Mr Tsipras’ country has the biggest debt pile in Europe relative to the size of its economy.
The IMF has been pushing for Greece to enact long-term reforms of its income tax and pension systems to avoid deficits.
Despite resistance in the country it is hoped they will be able to come to a suitable arrangement.
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On Monday Ms Lagarde said a reduction in Greece’s debt load could occur without international lenders having to take write-downs of their loans – an issue of specific concern to European Union creditors.
But a deal will need to come quickly.
Athens is currently trying to secure an agreement to unlock funds from a third eurozone rescue programme – before the country runs out of cash.
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