BUSINESS

No change to shipping’s contribution

There will be no changes to the compulsory contribution of the Greek shipping sector to the state budget, Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis insisted on Monday, adding that according to a December amendment shipper will be paying three times more over the next three years.

Varvitsiotis was responding to reactions from the Union of Greek Shipowners – which saw its efforts for a voluntary contribution to the budget crumble overnight – saying that the government does not wish to change the existing institutional framework, which is covered by the constitution.

The minister thereby issued a message to shipowners saying that the obligatory contribution will have an extraordinary character and will not be maintained beyond 2016 when the measure expires.

Nevertheless, given the opposition by shipowners who have proposed a voluntary doubling of the tax they paid until 2013, a revision of the measure cannot be ruled out. This would probably take the shape of reduction on the burden, which is estimated at around 500 million euros for the three-year period from 2014 to 2016.

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