Gov’t scrambles for offsetting measures to replace VAT on private schools


Government officials on Friday were in a last-minute scramble to find alternative measures for inclusion in a multi-bill following a pledge by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to suspend plans for a 23 percent value added tax on private schools.

With just a few hours to go until a vote on a first set of austerity measures and reforms that Greece must pass into law in order to receive 2 billion euros in loans, it was unclear whether a solution was in sight.

In presenting his policy program to Parliament earlier this month, Tsipras had pledged to suspend plans for the tax on schools until the final version of the state budget goes to Parliament in November.

Greek private schools are concerned that imposing the tax will lead thousands of parents who are already struggling to pay fees to stop lessons for their children.