Tsipras thanks shipowners over changes to voluntary tax deal

Tsipras thanks shipowners over changes to voluntary tax deal

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday thanked the Greek shipping community for agreeing to set a permanent deal for their voluntary economic contribution to the state.

Members of the Union of Greek Shipowners (EEE) approved in early February a change in the way they paid the voluntary tax, switching to a 10 percent levy on dividends accumulated by individuals, instead of the former way of charging a double tonnage tax.

The deal applies to Greek-flagged ships or freighters with foreign flags managed by Greek shipping companies.

“I would like to thank you for your response to the government's request to establish a permanent agreement which is voluntary in character,” he said following the signing of the deal in a meeting with representatives of EEE.

“This stable percentage will allow us to … calculate some stable revenue, which is something important in these days. The 10 percent is an important agreement which we have reached,” he added.

Tsipras acknowledged that, based on the Constitution and the legislation in force, shipowners could have avoided any contribution.

“However, the fact that you understand the need to support the Greek government's drive to revive the economy and thus strengthen our fiscal capacity shows you share the national responsibility to exit the crisis,” he told EEE members.

The agreement for the voluntary levy was originally introduced in 2013 and stipulated that shipowners would double the tonnage tax for ships, whether they fly a Greek or a foreign flag.

It expired at the end of 2017 and a new one extended the deal until the end of 2018.

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