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Greek Court Overrules College Staff Benefit Tax

Days after it was reported that Greece’s highest court would soon rule unconstitutional the pay cuts to the military and emergency services the government imposed on the orders of international lenders, it has ordered college administrators and staff be repaid for taxes assessed on special benefits they got for library work and attending conferences.
According to the latest ruling by the Council of State, the taxes paid by university staff on their benefits since July 2002 should be reimbursed, at what government officials ruled would be at the cost of only “a few million euros.”
But there were concerns the ruling was more critical than the amount involved and that it could open the floodgate for others in the public sector who’ve been besieged with pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions since 2010 when Greece got the beginning of two bailouts of $325 billion to also seek relief.
Already, the military and emergency services order has been estimated to be about 500 million euros ($674.4 million) which could eat up a big chunk of a primary surplus that could hit one billion euros ($1.34 billion) and require Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to abandon his pledge to return 70 percent of the monies to those hardest hit by austerity measures he implemented.
Other appeals that are currently pending in the courts include those by civil servants complaining about cuts to the lump sum they are paid on retirement. The money they earned and that was deducted over the years for their retirement was slashed in an effort to appease the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).

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