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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-05-19

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Boat with migrants issues distress call 12 miles southwest of Antipaxi island
  • [02] Greek gov't plans radical change in VAT system‏

  • [01] Boat with migrants issues distress call 12 miles southwest of Antipaxi island

    ANA/MPA--A small boat with migrants and refugees issued an SOS distress call in waters 12 miles southwest of the island of Antipaxi in the Ionian Sea on Tuesday.

    Other craft in the area and an Igoumenitsa coast guard patrol boat have responded to the call. According to initial reports, the boat is adrift with about 40 migrants and refugees on board.

    [02] Greek gov't plans radical change in VAT system‏

    ANA/MPA---The Greek government plans radical changes in the VAT system with the introduction of a single VAT rate of 15 pct for transactions using credit or debit cards and 18 pct for transactions using cash, along with maintaining a low VAT rate of 6.5 pct for medicines and other first need items.

    The government proposal, presented by Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis during a speech at the general assembly of the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises on Monday, envisages drastic changes throughout the sales tax system, including tax-exemptions. For example, the government's proposals includes a return of a lowered VAT to enterprises based in Aegean islands, which means a change in the prevailing lower VAT status in these regions. In any case, the introduction of a single VAT rate - replacing the existing 23 pct and 13 pct rates - is considered to be one of the issues agreed between Greek authorities and the country's creditors during ongoing negotiations. The government is also examining other interventions in the tax system, such as abolishing tax-exemptions, currently costing around 1.0 billion euros to the state budget, a very high figure compared with annual revenues of 14.411 billion euros from VAT.

    A proposal for the introduction of a lower VAT on transactions using credit/debit cards is part of government plans to expand the use of plastic money as much as possible. The issue was discussed during a recent meeting between the vice-president of the government Yiannis Dragasakis with the heads of the country's four systemic banks.


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