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Society

Facing Big Taxes, Greeks Renouncing Inheritances in Big Numbers

April 4, 2019

ATHENS – With Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, reneging on campaign promises, burying Greeks with big tax hikes and new fees, the number of people waiving inheritances has grown 413 percent from 2013-2018.

Expecting more to reject accepting property and other inheritances, the figures came from the Hellenic Valuation Institute (ELIE) with the period so far including four years under SYRIZA rule when Tsipras said he would cut taxes but raised them to satisfy international creditors and get a third bailout in 2015, this one for 86 billion euros ($96.72 billion.)

The number of people disclaiming their inheritance last year came close to 150,000, compared to fewer than 30,000 five years earlier, showing how rapidly family finances have fallen during a nearly nine-year-long economic and austerity crisis with Tsipras reneging on vows to help workers, pensioners and the poor and letting tax cheats, politicians and the rich escape with near impunity.

Property market experts attribute this trend to many people’s inability to pay the inheritance tax, realizing the cost of owning the property inherited will either be far too high or won’t be covered by the returns from its sale or rental, said Kathimerini.

With the inheritance waivers soaring from 130,000 since 2017, the figures show many households may be deeper in debt than estimated.

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