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Greek Tourism Body SETE Calls for Tax Cuts in Transport

Photo © GTP

A day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a series of tax breaks including lower rates on restaurants and electricity, the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) is also calling for reduced taxation on transport.

SETE President Yiannis Retsos

In a letter to Economy Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, SETE President Yiannis Retsos referred to the impact of high taxation on transport not only on tourism but also on the local economies particularly when taking into account Greece’s many’s islands.

“It should be noted that a provision on the crucial issue of transport appears to be missing from the announced package of measures, despite a VAT increase since 2015 on transport services from 13 percent to 24 percent,” said Retsos.

“Overtaxation of the transport sector impacts the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product but also has wider social implications due to the island’s insularity,” said Retsos, adding that any measures and incentives announced must meet specific targets as set out in a carefully drawn up national strategy and should remain permanent.

Photo © GTP

Photo © GTP

With this in mind, SETE is calling for the inclusion in the newly announced tax breaks of tax relief measures for the transport sector, which includes ferries and airlines transporting thousands of visitors each year.

In the meantime, completing a three-day post-bailout assessment visit in Athens this week, Greece’s lenders said in a statement that all measures announced by Tsipras would be evaluated according to the fiscal targets and commitments set out in the country’s “enhanced surveillance” program that the government agreed to with the Eurogroup last August, when it exited a nearly eight-year-long aid program.

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