Greek PM promises tax breaks in 2019 after transport discounts to islanders

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Greek PM promises tax breaks in 2019 after transport discounts to islandersAmid criticism of 'over-taxation' in the country, Eurozone official insists that VAT rates on islands must be harmonized and pension cut measure stands

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras again referred to "tax breaks" next year, 2019, a year in which a general election can come no later than the autumn, unless the former decides on a snap poll in the meantime, naftemporiki.gr reports:

Speaking in Thessaloniki at a general assembly of the northern Greece industrialists' association - as opposed to the nationwide Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) - Tsipras expressed "certainty" that "the current credibility of the country's public finances" offers the opportunity for "targeted" tax breaks.

He was responding to earlier statements by Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) President Athanasios Savvakis, who expressed his grave concern over what he called "over-taxation" now burdening the recovering Greek economy.

Tsipras and his poll-trailing leftist-rightist coalition government have promised reduced tax rates next year, more than two years after designing and unleashing (in 2017) a "tax tsunami" aimed at meeting memorandum-mandated annual fiscal targets, especially primary budget surpluses as a percentage of the country's GDP.

He said the specific announcement of whatever tax breaks, for 2019, at the annual state-of-the-economy address given by Greek premiers at the inauguration of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) in early September.

Transportation discounts for residents of 49 Greek islands

The Greek PM had announced earlier that residents of 49 Greek islands can claim transportation discounts by registering on the newly launched www.metaforikoisodynamo.gr platform.

According to media reports, island residents need to register only once and should submit TAXIS codes, personal data and IBAN number and will receive an islander code which they will present to ferry agencies when buying their tickets so that by the end of each month they will receive in their bank account the amount of the tax-deductible discount.

The same holds for a number of costs involving the transport of goods to and from the islands  and eligible individuals or companies should call 215-215-7830, Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm or submit their queries on the special form that exists on the site.

In a related development, a Eurozone official in Brussels on Tuesday reiterated that suspension of a decision to harmonize VAT rates on five eastern Aegean islands – bringing them up to the same level as in the rest of the country – must end at the end of the year.

The same official expressed continued support for implementation of another round of austerity measures, which the Tsipras government has promised creditors to implement in 2019, namely, more pension cuts. However, the same official recognized that there was always some margin to be “flexible”.

Asked about the issue of VAT rates on the islands – which have borne the brunt of the refugee/migrant crisis in the Aegean since the first half of 2015 –he replied that the Eurogroup’s relevant services were not briefed about the decision to retain the lower rates, “something that should have been done, in order to be included in the final text of the program.”

Read more at naftemporiki.gr

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Jebulon License: CC-BY-SA 

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