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Greek Tourism Backed by New Finance Ministry Covid-19 Aid

Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Greek tourism professionals are set to benefit from a series of new Covid-19 relief measures announced by the Finance Ministry, including a 13 percent reduction in VAT to continue through to September.

More specifically, Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Monday that a total of 5.9 billion euros would be released in the Q1 to address the impact of Covid-19, which is costing the Greek economy approximately 2.4 billion euros each month.

The 13 percent reduction in VAT applies through to September 30, 2021 to all forms of ticketed transport via land or air, as well as transport via taxi or tourist bus.

The slashed VAT rate also applies to tourism packages through to December 31, 2021.

At the same time, tourism and transport enterprises affected by the pandemic will also be exempt of business rent for March.

Staikouras’ announcement comes days after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed a new round of tax breaks and business rent exemptions for food and beverage (F&B) service providers who have remained closed for months due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Mitsotakis said, F&B services providers would not be required to pay rents for March and they will not be required to pay employee salaries, which are currently covered under a government furlough support program.

Also, reduced VAT will be charged on coffee and non-alcoholic beverages through to September 30 and the government will cover businesses’ fixed costs.

Meanwhile, according to Staikouras, the new round of measures are aimed at impacted citizens and businesses and include two rounds of refundable deposits amounting to 1.5 billion euros. Eligible parties can apply as of February 15. Subsides range from 500 euros to 50,000 euros.

Under the new round, the self-employed will receive 500 to 1,000 euros in aid depending on income loss. 

For the F&B sector, businesses with no employees will be eligible for 1,000 euros; 2,000 euros for businesses with one to five employees; 4,000 euros for those with six to 20 employees; and 8,000 euros for enterprises with more than 20 employees.

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