ECONOMY

Soft drink tax fuels talk of Coca-Cola Hellenic move

Greek govenment plans to slap a tax on soft drinks have drawn the ire of Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH), the world?s second-largest Coke bottler, which may respond by moving its headquarters out of Athens, according to local press reports.

The new levy has not been formally announced but government sources say it is likely to be included among the next batch of austerity measures to be announced in coming days aimed at helping the country tackle its fiscal problems.

CCH has been lobbying government officials not to go ahead with the new tax, press reports say, arguing that it will lead to lower demand and revenues, which will in turn weigh on investments and result in job cuts.

Contacted by Kathimerini English Edition, a CCH official would not comment on talk of a shift out of Greece, adding that the company is sticking to previous comments reiterating its commitment to Athens.

CCH is the largest company listed on the Athens bourse, valued at 6.2 billion euros, and operates in 28 countries.