Greece is considering VAT tax cut for restaurants and cafes to reboot tourism

epaselect epa07882450 People at the Orange beach in Chalkidiki, Greece, 30 September 2019. According to weather forecasts, temperatures in Chalkidiki will be around 23 degrees Celsius during the week. EPA-EFE/ERDEM SAHIN

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Greece is considering a sales tax cut for restaurants and cafes as part of a broader plan to reboot the tourism-dependent economy hammered by the coronavirus lockdown.

The tax on products, such as coffee and soft drinks, could be reduced to 13% from 24%, according to one government official. Another official told Reuters that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis would announce any relief measures for tourism “when the time is ripe”.

The premier’s office said Mitsotakis would outline plans to revive tourism and the economy on Wednesday.

Greece, which emerged from international bailouts in 2018 after a decade-long debt crisis, expects a deep recession this year and has earmarked billions of euros to support jobs and businesses.

So far, the country has managed to contain the spread of the coronavirus at relative low levels compared to other EU countries, mainly by imposing a nationwide lockdown in March and April. It has reported 2,836 cases and 165 deaths since its first case emerged in late February. Greece started easing restrictions on May 4 and cafes and restaurants are expected to reopen on May 25, with social distancing and staff wearing masks.


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