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Parliamentary questions
31 August 2017
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi (PPE)

 Subject:  Reduced VAT rates on Greek Islands

In 2015, the Greek Government decided to phase-out geographic variations in VAT on the Aegean Islands, as part of structural reforms. The right for geographical VAT derogations, which has applied since 1992 (Directive 92/77/EEC) to compensate for inequalities due to the remoteness of the islands from mainland Greece, has thus been compromised. As a result, the 30% reduced VAT rates in the Aegean Islands have been repealed as of 1 January 2017, with the exception of the islands in the Prefectures of Evros, Lesbos, Chios, Samos, the Dodecanese (except Rhodes and Karpathos), which were given a one-year extension owing to the refugee crisis and the related adverse effects.

The reduced VAT rates, which apply in many Member State island regions, benefit local economies and Greek tourism’s competitiveness, while islands such as Kos and Lesbos are being hugely tested by the recent strong earthquakes.

Does the Commission consider that the Greek Government may suspend the measure to repeal TAX variations? If Greece loses the right to this special regime, can it recover it in the future?

How much money from the EUR 535 million from the EU structural funds (2014-2020), intended for programmes for the Aegean Islands, has already been allocated to support competitiveness and employment in those islands?

Original language of question: EL 
Last updated: 12 September 2017Legal notice