Greece plans VAT increases on food and services

The Greek government is presenting new measures to raise value added tax (VAT) on food and services in order to save 1.8 billion euros as one of the preconditions set by international creditors for additional aid for the struggling country.

According to local media reports Monday, tax on food and drinks, including those sold in restaurants and bars, would rise from 23 per cent to 24 per cent under the new plan. The tax on tickets for local and long-distance travel is to rise by the same amount.

Petrol and diesel would rise by 5 cents and 8 cents per litre, respectively.

Other goods and services to face VAT rises would be cigarettes, fixed line telephone services and pay TV services. Stays in Greek hotels starting in 2018 would see added fees of 2 euros to 4 euros per night.

The bill for the new measures is to be presented to parliament soon, with a vote expected as early as the coming weekend.

Lefteris Kretsos, Greek secretary general of communications, who was visiting the UN headquarters in New York on Monday, told dpa that he was optimistic that the proposed plan would be passed.

"It will not be a problem. We are in a very good situation," Kretsos said.

"We are a government that is strong enough to deliver what it promised, so we will continue the same momentum of promoting reforms that help the economy."

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
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