The Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE) on Thursday said that the VAT increase on the products and services of the Aegean islands will mark a new economic slowdown and have consequences on the competitiveness of Greek tourism.
“The rise in VAT rates in recent years have led to price increases of products, without bringing revenue to state coffers”, GSEVEE said in an announcement, adding that combating tax evasion is not served through the constant fluctuations in tax rates, but through a developed tax system.
“For the tourism and catering sectors, the problem of competitiveness will become more intense as competitor countries have a VAT that ranges from 6 percent to 10 percent, while neighboring Turkey is currently discussing the creation of ‘special tourism zones’ with zero VAT, which will allow the offer of travel packages with lower prices.”
GSEVEE reminded that reduced VAT rates apply in other EU countries such as in Corsica in France while the Canary Islands in Spain and the regions of Lake Lugano in Italy have zero VAT rates.
The confederation called on the government to seek ways of removing the VAT increase on the Aegean islands before “it’s too late and the consequences become incalculable”.