Tsipras Reneges On Pledge to Spare Fire Victims of ENFIA Tax

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, center, gestures as he sits next to new Interior Minister Alexis Charitsis, right, during a cabinet meeting, in Athens, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, FILE)

Some residents – those who survived – of the fire-ravaged seaside villages of Neos Voutzas, and in Mati where 99 died in July 23 blazes – will have to pay a hated ENFIA property tax surcharge on homes that were damaged but not destroyed.

Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who visited Mati, had promised the homeowners would be exempt from the ENFIA that he kept and hiked after saying he would end it and as he has broken another pledge.

Residents with homes that were not totally destroyed in the blazes will be obliged to pay the tax, which means about of those in Mati trying to rebuild homes and 60 percent in Neos Voutzas, said Kathimerini

Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis followed up with a visit but refused to say who would have to pay and who wouldn’t. Emi Korkidi, a member of the Neos Voutzas residents’ committee, said all those whose homes had been damaged should be exempt.

Meanwhile, the government has yet to begin an all-out program to raze 1,185 unlawful structures such as many in Mati where people seized land and built without licenses, creating fire trap conditions in some cases.