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PM Samaras: VAT rate to drop to 13 pct as of August 1

VAT in restaurant and catering services will be provisionally reduced from 23 percent to 13 percent as of August 1, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced on Wednesday, in a televised message from government headquarters at Maximos Mansion on Wednesday.

Among other things, the PM also said that the decision by the troika of lenders to adopt the suggestion for lowering of the VAT during Greece's apex summer season especially is the first announcement of a tax decrease in Greece.

Samaras said that certain measures included in the memorandum would not be introduced in 2014, "which means that there will be no new cuts in pensions and salaries of the armed forces; nor will there be an additional tax of 0,002 percent on business turnover," achievements that showed "we have succeeded in our targets and shown real progress."

Speaking on the day Parliament is expected to vote an omnibus bill that includes a new tax code, Samaras said he had promoted the VAT reduction with the troika because businesses and chambers had reassured him it would bring higher revenues to the sector and the state. But he warned store owners that they also needed to do their part and issue proper receipts. "If tax evasion continues as usual, VAT will climb back to 23 percent. But if it works out, I am sure more reductions in unbearable taxes will follow," the PM said.

The premier reminded his opposition that "we have been in power for just a year" and said that Greece's image abroad during that time had improved tremendously: "Everyone knows how foreigners saw Greece from abroad, from Europe and the Americas to China, from international markets to Greek and foreign investors - and everyone also knows how differently the world views Greece today."

Samaras asserted that better days are coming. "We are not resting on our laurels. We will climb up the hill and get to the very end, which is not far," he added.

Source: Athens News Agency

Last Updated Wednesday, 17 July 2013
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