Greece has the highest indirect taxes in the eurozone and is showing no signs of reducing them in 2019. This ominous conclusion for taxpayers stems from a comparison of the 2019 draft budgets submitted to the European Commission by the 19 members of the eurozone.
According to the figures, special consumption taxes and the value-added tax will amount to 17.3 percent of Greek gross domestic product in 2019, putting the country in the top spot in the eurozone, followed by France and Cyprus.
Greece’s absence of tax justice is also illustrated by another statistical finding: The country has the largest spread between returns of direct and indirect taxation, with direct tax revenues expected to come to 10 percent of GDP next year, 7.3 percentage points below indirect tax takings. No other eurozone country will have such a wide spread, which is actually widening as in 2018 it is projected to come to 6.8 percentage points.
In the sum of taxes and social security, Greece ranks fifth among the eurozone member-states for 2019, only behind Belgium, France, Finland and Italy. The difference is that citizens in the other states get a lot more back: While Finland forks out 2.1 percent of its GDP to protect its unemployed, Greece contributes just 0.6 percent.