Six islands set to lose their VAT discount on Thursday


Rhodes, Myconos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos and Skiathos comprise the first batch of Aegean islands that as of Thursday, October 1 will see the waiving of the 30 percent value-added tax discount and, consequently, a series of hikes in the prices of goods and services.

VAT rates on the six islands will revert from 5 percent, 9 percent and 16 percent to what most of the rest of the country pays: 6 percent, 13 percent, 23 percent. At this stage, the islands affected the most by the flow of refugee arrivals, such as Kos, Samos, Lesvos and Chios, are to be spared the waiver of the discount.

The Finance Ministry announced on Monday that the choice of the six islands was made according to countable and transparent criteria. This will also be the case with the other two stages of VAT discount waiving for the rest of the Aegean islands, expected on June 1, 2016, and then on January 1, 2017, when the remotest of islands will also adjust to the nationwide VAT rates.