Greece loses battle over lower taxes for traditional Tsipouro and Tsikoudia drinks

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Greece loses battle over lower taxes for traditional Tsipouro and Tsikoudia drinksTwo of the most traditional and popular Greek alcoholic beverages

The European Court rejected Greece’s appeal on Thursday to set a lower excise tax for tsipouro and tsikoudia, two of the most traditional and popular Greek alcoholic beverages, according to greekreporter.com.

Europe’s top court ruled in favor of the European Commission which claimed that lower taxes indirectly protected tsipouro and tsikoudia from competition from similar imported beverages.

Greece had introduced excise duties on tsipouro and tsikoudia at half the rate from that levied on imported alcoholic products.

This angered the EU executive which viewed it as preferential treatment breaching European Union laws.

Tsipouro and its “cousin” tsikoudia, which is made in Crete island, are genuine Greek products inextricably connected with the way of life, hospitality and entertainment of the Greeks.

The two beverages are similar, prepared – by distillation – and from the same raw material — stemfyla (grape marc). In other words, pieces of grapes, stems and seeds that are left after pressing the grapes for the new wine.

Tsipouro, nevertheless, contains anise, while tsikoudia does not. Also, tsikoudia usually includes one distillation, which creates a difference in flavor and aroma.

Similar drinks are the Italian grappa as well as the arrack of the Middle East.

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

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Nik Frey (niksan)

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