NEWS

New Greek austerity measures tap cafe culture

TAGS: Economy

Greeks have woken up to a new wave of price hikes that have been demanded in return for more international bailout loans, with the highest increases targeting the main ingredients of the country's cafe culture: Coffee and beer.

Starting Wednesday, Greece's main sales tax rate went up from 23 to 24 percent, while taxes were also raised on services used heavily by Greeks forced to cut back on leisure activities due to the financial crisis. Charges increased on internet, fixed telephone and pay-TV subscriptions.

The measures were approved by Parliament before Greece's partners in the 19-country eurozone agreed to unfreeze 10.3 billion euros ($11.5 billion) in bailout funds and begin discussions on easing Athens' debt repayments.

Greece's left-wing government also overhauled pensions and signed up to ambitious budget targets. [AP]

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