Higher value-added tax (VAT) rates are set to apply as of January 1 on products across 32 Greek islands which were exempt from a measure to revert to nationwide the rates of 6, 13 and 24 percent at the beginning of this year.
More specifically, islands in the Dodecanese and North Aegean Region, including the refugee crisis-hit Lesvos and Kos, which also suffered earthquakes this year, will as of January 1 be obliged to revert to the new rates, a demand by Greece’s international lenders.
The new rates will go from the current 5 percent, 9 percent and 17 percent to 6 percent, 13 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Indicatively, prices for medication, books, magazines and newspapers will increase by 1.5 percent after a 6 percent VAT increase on these islands.
The cost of basic food items including meats, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables and olive oil as well as utilities will increase by 3.7-4 percent after a 13 percent VAT rate is charged.
Finally, services and products including cars, petrol, cigarettes, alcohol, appliances, clothing, fixed and mobile phone charges will also be more expensive by 6 percent following the application of 24 percent VAT.
The said islands, which include Lesvos, Lemnos, Agios Efstratios, Chios, Psara, Oinousses, Samos, Ikaria, Kos, Kalymnos, Nisyros, Patmos, Leros, Symi, Astypalea, Chalki, Kastellorizo and Samothrace, will maintain a 30 percent discount on VAT rates through to the end of this year.