Greek Jewish community fighting to stay solvent

(Israel Matzav) The Greek Jewish community is struggling to stave off bankruptcy David Saltiel, the head of the community in Thessaloniki, which has used its deeper pockets to support needy Jewish communities around the country since the onset of financial troubles, confirmed the severity of the situation. “I'm afraid that if something does not happen to save all the Jewish communities in Greece we will be in a difficult situation,” he said. “Worst of all is not being able to support Jewish life, the synagogues, the schools and those in need." Since the recession began last year, revenues from Jewish assets and donations have dropped precipitously making it increasingly difficult for communities around the country to pay for services rendered to its 6,000 members. The biggest blow so far has been the new property tax. The measure, passed by the Greek government earlier this month in a bid to raise money to pay off its debtors, levies an additional 16 euros on every square meter. Because the Jewish community’s biggest source of income is real estate, its coffers have been particularly badly affected by the law. “A lot of the property is either vacant because people cannot afford them or the tenants are demanding rents reduced by 40 percent or they threaten to leave,” said Albelas. In order to avoid bankruptcy, Greek Jews have appealed to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an international relief group based in New York City, for help.Read the whole thing.
putting a tax on property is a suicidal move by the government in Greece. A large portion of revenue coming out of the country is from tourism. Tourism is dependent on hotels and beaches. One of the reasons Greece did not fare well to the Euro is that the Euro kept prices high and vacationers went to places that were cheaper. One can see how a situation like this will result in blaming Jews for their economic woes, but sadly by hurting Jews in the pocket, they are hurting the rest of their nation. I realize that Greece in now Israel's ally, but old habits die hard and when the Jews abandon Greece the country will suffer... all countries suffer who hurt business... and I do not deny it... Jews are good at business.

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