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Tags: greece | taxes | kyriakos mitsotakis | conservative | bailout | eu

Tax Cuts Fueled Greek Prime Minister's Big Win

John Gizzi By Tuesday, 30 May 2023 09:41 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

"Lower taxes are the gold standard of American politics," the late conservative commentator and author M. Stanton Evans famously wrote.

Last week, the latest politician to prove Evans' admonition was Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Three years after he began lowering or eliminating outright a succession of taxes, the leader of Greece's New Democracy (conservative) Party rolled to a landslide reelection and fell just short of winning an outright majority in the Greek parliament.

Sources in Athens told Newsmax that Mitsotakis and New Democracy, having achieved the best showing of any incumbent in half a century, will now compete in a run-off election June 25 which, under new election laws that are just taking effect, could give the party as many as 50 new seats and an outright majority in parliament.

Beginning in 2020, the corporate tax rate (CIT) was cut from 28% to 22% and taxation on dividends was slashed from 10%  to 5%.

In terms of taxes on individuals the government issued a 3% cut in social security contributions.

Overall, the Mitsotakis government reduced or eliminated about 60 taxes. Among the taxes completely scrapped were the value-added taxes on gymnasiums, dance schools, coffee and non-alcoholic beverages, cinemas, and tourist packages.

It also suspended fees on pay television and mobile phone services and completely scrapped the duty on mobile phones for Greek citizens under age 29.

What is being called "the Mitsotakis Miracle" is particularly dramatic just over a decade after the Greek economy collapsed and required a multi-billion dollar bailout from the European Union, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund — commonly called "The Troika" by Greeks.

In Athens, that almost seems like ancient history. As Greek journalist Katerina Sokou wrote in the New Atlanticist, "under Mitsotakis's reign, Greece registered one of the fastest economic growth rates in the eurozone in 2022, at 5.9%, and he promises to push with the reforms that will further increase foreign direct investment and improve Greek competitiveness, while also making good use of the 30.5 billion euros that Greece is due to receive from the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility.

"Ax the Tax" advocates outside Greece are noticing what has been going on. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told Newsmax: "In the United States, the Republican party began to win control of congress in more than half of national elections since 1994 when they became the parity that would 'never raise taxes.' Right of center parties in Greece, Italy, and Spain have learned a similar lesson: Never raise taxes and fight to lower them at every opportunity."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

"Lower taxes are the gold standard of American politics," the late conservative commentator and author M. Stanton Evans famously wrote.
greece, taxes, kyriakos mitsotakis, conservative, bailout, eu
Tuesday, 30 May 2023 09:41 PM
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