Greek Tourism Minister Vows VAT Decrease for Restaurant Sector
The Greek government will attempt to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate on restaurant, cafe and bar bills to 13% from the current 23%, according to Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyiani.
According to reports of the Kathimerini newspaper, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), the previous PASOK government hiked the VAT rate on restaurant sales to 23% in a bid to boost tax receipts, but the measure proved counterproductive due to the drop in demand.
The VAT hike led to a decrease by around 40% in the food and catering sector, the closure of 4000 establishments in a year, and some 30 000 job cuts.
Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy party, vowed to reduce the VAT rate charged by restaurants during the summer election campaign, but has so far failed to take the step.