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Greece: New Tax Measures

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou unveiled changes in the tax policy yesterday aimed at tackling the international crisis, by increasing budget revenues and providing relief to small businesses, along with initiatives to clean up government finances. The minister said he would reinstate a €10,500 tax-free threshold for the self-employed that had been dropped by his predecessor in August 2008. Taxes on tobacco and alcohol – except wine – will be increased, providing government coffers with an additional €350 million. Other fiscal measures announced include changes to the property tax (ETAK). On the expenditure side, the ministry plans to save about €500 million by diminishing hiring, overtime, and travel expenses. The ministry expects economic growth to slow to an annual pace of 1.2% in 2009, from approximately 3% last year. The European Commission believes Greece’s economy will expand at a rate of just 0.2% this year. Kathimerini daily: Crisis prompts new tax measures Ministry of Economy and Finance: Update of the Hellenic Stability & Growth Programme 2008-2011  (January 2009)