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Greece to cut MP tax breaks, minister salaries: Tsipras

[ATHENS] Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday announced plans to slash lawmaker tax breaks and ministerial salaries as his government added the finishing touches to a new EU-IMF bailout marked by fresh cuts.

"The political system must be responsive to the feelings of society," Mr Tsipras told ministers according to a government note.

The premier said a relevant bill would be submitted "to eliminate tax breaks for lawmakers and rationalise the salaries of ministers and the heads of state organisations and independent authorities." "It is a political initiative that has symbolic content, not just economic results," he said.

State agency ANA said lawmakers would no longer benefit from a 25-per cent tax break on their salary, and a full tax break on payment earned for sitting on parliamentary committees would also be scrapped.

Ministers, junior ministers and other senior staff will also see a 15-per cent salary cut, the agency said.

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Mr Tsipras's government and its creditors are reportedly close to finalising the terms of a third bailout agreement for the debt-hit country.

In addition to a wave of sales tax hikes already approved by Greece's parliament, measures currently under discussion with the creditors include higher tax on petrol for farmers.

"When the issue of scrapping tax breaks for farmers falls on the negotiating table, we cannot pretend not to care about our own tax breaks," Mr Tsipras said.


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