Commerce Chamber: High Taxes Drive Companies Away from Greece

2fc2a031a61f9bff865b3e0dd3d7922e_XLHigh taxes and insurance contributions drive businesses away from Greece, says the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA).

In a pamphlet issued by the chamber entitled “Who is driving Greek businesses away,” all the factors that make Greek entrepreneurs move their companies or factories abroad are listed.

The factors given are high taxation, insurance contributions and VAT, along with lack of liquidity, unemployment and economic recession.

Hundreds of businesses are forced to either shut down or relocate abroad to survive every month, according to the data provided.

Specifically, employer social security contributions stand at 24.6 percent, 10 percentage points more than competing companies in neighboring countries, while VAT is 3 percent higher than the average in Balkan countries.

EBEA President Konstantinos Michalos said that the business tax in Greece stands at 29 percent, which is the highest in the wider Balkan area, including Turkey and Italy.

The EBEA president says that Greek businesses have to pay a total of 52 percent of their revenues in taxes, including VAT. This is 18 percentage points higher than the average in Balkan countries.

As an example, it is pointed out that business tax in Bulgaria and Cyprus is 10 and 12.5 percent respectively.

EBEA proposes company tax to drop to 15 percent instead of 29 percent and taxation according to revenue, so that the total taxes do not exceed 35 percent of gross revenue.

At the same time, Michalos points out that a series of measures needed to put an end to bureaucracy that is a hurdle for new businesses.

“Strong businesses mean strong economy and jobs,” Michalos points out.