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Greek businesses make 'more tax' plea

Thursday, July 09, 2015 - 01:44

Business representatives have sent the Greek government a letter urging the Prime Minister to agree a deal with international creditors. As Sonia Legg reports, the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship says the country faces economic collapse otherwise.

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It's been in the family for four generations. But Sifis Sakalak's wool shop is facing ruin - and she blames the current government. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) SHOP OWNER, SIFIS SAKALAK, SAYING: "The people who are ruling Greece must understand that life requires rules and dignity not just meaningless words. We need to act and be judged on our actions." Small and medium-sized businesses have been battered by five years of austerity. And now capital controls are making matters worse. But a Greek exit would be the fatal blow and should be avoided at all costs, says Vassilis Korkidis. He represents private firms from industry, commerce and tourism. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HELLENIC CONFEDERATION OF COMMERCE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP (HCCE) PRESIDENT, VASSILIS KORKIDIS, SAYING: "The priority of all of us and especially the SMEs is not to allow our country to bankrupt. A cross default would be a disaster." Korkidis's organization has sent a letter to the Prime Minister saying businesses will accept over taxation in order to save Greece. One of the sticking points in previous reform plans had been a 10 percent increase in the tax on goods to 23 percent. But time is of the essence. A summit of euro zone leaders on Sunday is the Prime Minister's last chance of getting a deal approved And by then basic goods will be in short supply. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HELLENIC CONFEDERATION OF COMMERCE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP PRESIDENT, VASSILIS KORKIDIS, SAYING: "52 (percent) of the essentials, 52 of the food products, 52 of the, 52 percent of the medicines they are imported. Therefore the problem is going to be multiplied in the next couple of weeks." After rejecting one bailout plan Greece is now pleading for another. It's even promising to implement pension and tax reforms as early as next week. With wages to pay on Monday and an key ECB debt payment the following week it really is a case of life support.

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Greek businesses make 'more tax' plea

Thursday, July 09, 2015 - 01:44