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Parliamentary questions
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15 July 2019
Question for written answer E-002280-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Alexis Georgoulis (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Reduced rate of excise duty on ‘tsipouro’ and ‘tsikoudia’
 Answer in writing 

In a judgment published on 11 July 2019, the Court ruled that Greek legislation(1) providing for the application of a reduced rate of excise duty on ‘tsipouro’ and ‘tsikoudia’ produced by distillers and a reduced rate of excise duty on tsipouro and tsikoudia produced by small distillers is contrary to Union law(2), namely Directives 92/83/EEC(3) and 92/84/EEC(4).

Given that ‘tsipouro’ and ‘tsikoudia’ production is a unique skill practised in regions of the Greek mainland and the Greek islands, will the Commission say:
Could the derogation provided for in Article 23 (2) of Directive 92/83/EEC be extended to cover ‘tsipouro’ and ‘tsikoudia’ as a whole, since ouzo, which is covered by the derogation, is produced in a similar way?
If this is not feasible, what measures does it intend to take to support small distilleries practising a profession or skill unique in Europe which supports the local economy of large areas of the country?
What initiatives will the Commission take to protect professions and techniques (which differ from the modern industrial processes) that are being lost, as part of Europe's intangible cultural heritage?

(1)Laws 3845/2010 and 2969/2001.
(2)Judgment in Case C-91/18 Commission v Greece, 11 July 2019.
(3)Council Directive 92/83/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the harmonisation of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages (OJ L 316, 31.10.1992, p. 21).
(4)Council Directive 92/84/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the approximation of the rates of excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages (OJ L 316, 31.10.1992, p. 29).

Original language of question: EL 
Last updated: 5 August 2019Legal notice