Greece tops eurozone in overtaxation

Greece tops eurozone in overtaxation

Greece has taken the lead among eurozone countries in the taxes-to-GDP ratio, rising from 13th place in 2008, before the country requested a bailout to stabilize its finances, to first place as of 2016.

A tax-to-GDP ratio of over 27 percent is unprecedented in the country, at least since the restoration of democracy in 1974.

At the same time, Greece set a record in terms of the speed with which the “taxation shock” was implemented, with the tax-to-GDP ratio jumping by 7 percentage points over eight years of bailouts.

Direct or indirect overtaxation has been the main driver for the reduction of the huge deficits Greece had to tackle at the beginning of the economic crisis. In 2008, taxes on production and imports accounted for 12.6 percent of GDP, while in 2017 the figure rose to 17.5 percent, according to data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

Taxes on income stood at 8.1 percent in 2008 and 10.2 percent in 2017. In social security contributions the ratio stood at 12.7 percent in 2008, reaching 14.6 percent in 2017.

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