Greek Government Extends Low-VAT-Rate Period For Five Aegean Islands



The city of Mytilene on the island of Lesvos. Photo by AMNA

Five Greek islands that have dealt with the brunt of migration inflows will keep their reduced VAT rate, Migration Policy Minister Dimitris Vitsas said on Friday, after the parliament plenary passed the ministry’s bill containing that provision.

Vitsas said that the decision to maintain a lower VAT rate on the islands of Chios, Kos, Leros, Lesvos, and Samos will be legislated by the end of the year in the Greek Parliament, following a relevant bill being brought for discussion by the Greek Government.

Greece was implementing a lower VAT rate for years, specifically for the country’s islands compared to the rate on the mainland, but during the financial crisis and under the provisions of the austerity measures imposed most of the islands saw their rates being raised to the same levels as those on the mainland.

Currently Greece imposes a VAT of 24 percent to non-alimentary products as well as to some processed food, 13 percent to food and other widely used products and a low rate of 6.5 percent for specific medical and cultural products.

(With information from A.M.N.A.)