New wave of taxes
Athens Plus, 26 June 2009

Battling to keep the budget deficit in check amid a deepening economic recession, Economy Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou announced on June 25 a new package of tax levies on various items of consumer spending.

"The additional measures we are announcing today, though not pleasant to anyone and, above all, to the government, are both necessary and as equitable as possible," Papathanasiou told reporters following a cabinet meeting called earlier on June 25 by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who approved the new taxes.

The new taxes include:

1. An annual levy on all yachts of more than 10m in length, and sailing boats of more than 15m, either registered or docked in Greece

2. A one-off tax on all owners of yachts, similar to the road tax paid by car owners

3. An annual special tax "in favour of the public sector" levied on private motorcars and motorcycles with engines of 1929cc and above

4. A special consumption tax on car petrol is being raised from a rate of 359 euros per 1,000 litres to 410 euros. This measure does not affect domestic heating fuel

5. The calculation of mobile phone tariffs is being revised to include an increased tax on usage, ranging from 12 percent of net mobile phone bills of up to 50 euros, to 20 percent for 150 euros or more

6. The tax exemption on all lottery prizes and winnings from wagers is being abolished, with a 10 percent tax now being imposed on earnings

7. A tax on erstwhile illegal commercial use of "semi-outdoor spaces", such as sidewalk space used by restaurants.