Gov’t rules out VAT hike… for the present

Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis is seen addressing journalists in a press briefing yesterday. Petalotis ruled out any new value-added tax (VAT) hikes in 2010, rejecting local press reports that the government is eyeing a further increase in a bid to support revenue growth. ‘There is no issue of any new measures for 2010. There is no issue of new measures or a new memorandum,’ he said, referring to an agreement Greece signed in May with the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in exchange for 110 billion euros in loans. A drop-off in budget revenue growth in the first seven months of the year does not take into account income from a 2009 property tax (ETAK), a levy payable on large real estate holdings and fines being imposed on tax cheats, added Petalotis.