Greeks Welcome New Year Ready to Pay More for Basics

A barrage of raises in basic goods and services accompanies the New Year, as Greek households have to pay more for fuel oil, fuel gas, telephone service, cable television, coffee and cigarettes.

The new direct and indirect taxes on consumer products and services that went into effect on January 1st will burden further the already debt-ridden Greek households.

For salaried workers and pensioners, 2017 will see the introduction of new tax scales with a lower tax-free threshold and a higher “solidarity tax.” Property owners who rent their properties will have to pay up to 36.4 percent more tax on rents they receive.

The excise tax on petrol will increase by 3 cents per liter, from 0.67 to 0.70 euros, while diesel fuel will go up 8 cents per liter, from 0.33 to 0.41, and propane gas will go up 10 cents a liter from 0.33 to 0.43 cents. This will push up retail prices, which are expected to reach an additional 5 cents per liter on petrol, 8 cents on diesel and 0.12-0.13 cents per liter for propane.

Cigarettes and tobacco products will also go up in price as a special tax went into effect on January 1. Retail prices will be 20-26 percent higher.

A new excise tax is also being levied on imported and domestically produced coffee, pushing up the price per kilogram by 2-3 euros for roasted coffee and 4 euros per kilogram for instant. Electronic cigarettes are also subject to price hikes as a special consumption tax is being introduced on the liquids used.

Finally, Greek households will have to pay 5 percent more for telephone services and cable television.