Excise Tax on Wine Makes Greek Gov’t Dizzy, SYRIZA MP Resigns

ko_syrizaThe excise tax on wine that the Greek government has tabled in parliament caused reactions inside the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition putting the fragile majority at risk, as a ruling party MP resigns.

SYRIZA MP and former government spokesperson Gavriil Sakellaridis resigned from his post protesting the unpopular measures, according to Real radio station.

According to reports, Minister of Rural Development Vangelis Apostolou is enraged at the article on wine on the omnibus bill, especially about inexpensive wines at the 1-1.50 euro price range will be 30 cents more expensive.

SYRIZA lawmaker Christos Bgialas asked for the removal of the article on wine from the omnibus bill. “It is a small raise in price, but we must remove it for psychological reasons and replace it with excise tax on whiskey, vodka and gin,” he said.

SYRIZA lawmakers from the islands of the Aegean that have big wineries and are famous for their wines are likely to vote against the bill. MPs from rural areas where wine is also produced appear skeptical about the measure.

ANEL‘s Nikos Nikolopoulos said he will vote against the omnibus bill, while SYRIZA MP Stathis Panagoulis and several others were conspicuously absent from the party’s parliamentary group to discuss the bill.

There is worry at Maximos Mansion that the shaky 155-seat majority is in danger and there is consideration to replace the excise tax on wine with an equivalent. It should be noted that the additional duty on wine was proposed as an equivalent to value added tax on private education and creditors have approved it.

Deputy Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis said in parliament on Wednesday night that the government is seriously considering the removal of the article on excise duty on wine from the bill and replacing it with another tax.