“The VAT reduction is important for tourism because it strengthens our competitiveness, especially in a period when competitiveness is the main issue,” Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni told the press on 17 July in regards to the recent reduction of the VAT rate in the food service sector.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had announced earlier that the VAT imposed on restaurants, hotel restaurants, cafeterias and bars would be reduced to 13 percent as of 1 August 2013.
According to reports, the measure will initially be temporary and implemented for four to six months, until it becomes clear whether the VAT cut will show results or not.
“We’ll see how it applies this year and we hope that everyone will contribute so this measure can become permanent and boost the food service and tourism sectors,” Mrs. Kefalogianni said.
The tourism minister stressed the need for the VAT reduction to reach customers in order to further strengthen the competitiveness of Greek tourism.
She noted that if the measure is supported by professionals (by issuing receipts regularly and dropping their prices), it would help strengthen the argument for further tax cuts in the whole tourism sector.
Reports said that the Greek Finance Ministry would establish the measure permanently if it helps crack down on tax evasion and leads to price reductions on products for consumption.