Friday 01.03.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

Self-employed professionals on streets today protesting against tax legislation

protest
22 Nov 2023 / 10:27

CORFU. Shops closed 12:00-14:30 - No taxis - Accounting offices closed.

Corfu self-employed professionals are out on the streets today, as part of nationwide protests against the new tax bill, demanding its complete withdrawal. Taxis have applied a 24-hour "brake" from 5 in the morning, accounting offices are closed, and retail shops will be closed for two and a half hours.

All associations of scientists, professionals, and merchants are participating in the protest rally scheduled for 12 noon in front of Corfu Workers Centre. A short march will follow, culminating at the former prefecture, aiming to submit a resolution to Corfu Tax Office, as representatives of the Ministry of Finance.

This protest follows a meeting initiated by Corfu Lawyers Association last Friday, with the participation of 21 entities of self-employed professionals, who discussed the new bill.

 

The following organisations are participating in today's protest:

Corfu Lawyers Association, Corfu Chamber of Commerce, Technical Chamber, Corfu Economic Chamber, Corfu Medical Association, Corfu Pharmaceutical Association, Corfu Association of Accountants, Association of Corfu Tourist Agents, Corfu Notaries Association, Federation of Rental Accommodation Owners, Corfu Trade Association, Corfu Association of Judicial Trustees, Corfu Restaurateurs Association, Association of Corfu Old Town Entertainment Establishment Owners, Corfu Taxi Association, Corfu Taxi Cooperative, Corfu Association of Jewellers, Unified Association of Shop Owners in Corfu, Corfu Commerce Federation, Corfu Federation of Artisan Merchants, Corfu Association of Bookshop Owners.

Demands

The organisations are calling for the complete withdrawal of the new legislative proposal, as they argue that it is horizontal tax-collection and anti-development. They particularly criticise the government's inflexible stance in response to the appeals and proposals of self-employed professionals, asserting that the new legislation disproportionately affects small and medium categories of self-employed professionals, rather than implementing measures for high incomes. They argue that the new legislation treats self-employed professionals as employees, despite having completely different characteristics, and does not offer them the exemptions and tax privileges provided to employees.

They also consider the taxable income threshold measure as outdated and unjust, as it targets economically vulnerable individuals and neglects to establish additional control mechanisms for the economically powerful and tax evaders. They highlight clear indications of unconstitutionality in the new legislation, such as the non-compliance with the constitutional principle of proportionality in citizen taxation and the unacceptable retroactive effect, which is explicitly prohibited in tax legislation.

They are also demanding a crackdown on tax evasion through fair and not unjust means, the immediate abolition of the luxury tax, the elimination of the advance tax payment, and tax exemption up to 12,000 Euros.

No taxis - Shops closed

In addition to its participation in today's protest, the Trade Association has decided to close retail shops from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Both local taxi associations are also participating in the 24-hour strike declared by their federation from 5 a.m. on Wednesday until 5 a.m. on Thursday. However, there will be personnel available to handle emergency situations.

The self-employed professionals' protest is supported by both the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Corfu branch and Corfu SYRIZA.

 

MARIA BAZDRIYIANNI