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Uri Chief Questions Land Tax Reform

Posted June. 19, 2006 03:02,   


Uri Party Chairman Kim Geun-tae expressed yesterday his opinion against the reform of the core of real estate tax system, saying, “Reform of the (real estate) property tax and capital gains tax may mean reform of the essence and basis (of real estate measures).”

Kim said the above in an interview with the press, including Yonhap News, yesterday as his private opinion, saying, “We should not encourage real estate speculators again while we are having a sigh just after we managed to keep speculation in check.”

However, Kim said, “I personally believe the real construction cost of national housing 25.7 pyeong or less should be made public. I won’t speak against the government’s position for speculation control and housing stabilization, but we should see if the government made low income people suffer a burden.”

Kim said with regard to the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA), “We should not be restricted to the time the U.S. indicated (the end of June 2007),” which differs from the government’s position pushing forward earliest settlement of the FTA negotiation.

He pointed out, “It should be settled through enough discussion, in that the nation is concerned that the FTA with the U.S. should be settled without proper preparation and that the second foreign exchange crisis could happen.”

He made clear that he would not lay down an “arrow” aimed at President Roh Moo-hyun, saying, “It can sound displeasing, but we are at a time that we have to determine priorities with all the objective facts on the table to devise countermeasures,” regarding his remark in Gwangju on June 16 that “the Honam district’s misunderstanding resulted from the government’s acceptance of special prosecution on remittance to the North and the proposal for grand coalition government with the main opposition Grand National Party.”

Regarding Roh’s cancellation of the national assembly speech scheduled on June 21, Kim said, “I felt very sorry.”

He answered the question whether the speech was cancelled due to the conversation with presidential chief secretary Lee Byung-wan when Lee visited him congratulating his inauguration as chairman by saying, “It seems too exaggerated. I just delivered basic messages that I wanted the president to give a speech to expand nation’s consensus, as national assembly members would listen attentively and the society would pay attention.”

Kim also said, “It is hard to inform in detail about measures to facilitate communications between the ruling party and the government, but I’m now preparing them. It will be better than nothing, although it will be one way to pass on the president’s messages to the party.” This is translated as the political affairs chief secretary post needing to be restored in the presidential secretary office.

KBS, Yonhap News, Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo, Kyunghyang News, Hankook Ilbo, Hankyoreh, and other outlets interviewed Kim on that day.

Dong-A Ilbo will interview him separately later.

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com