OECD calls for green tax

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has called on Greece to impose further taxes on fuel and abolish subsidies for polluting manufacturers so it can raise funds for investment in the environment. An OECD report concedes that the debt-ridden government has other priorities but claims green investment would not be expensive. «The government’s fiscal situation restricts its ability to fulfill environmental commitments, but the environment is not a great weight on the budget,» said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria, who met with Premier George Papandreou in Athens yesterday. According to the report, 25 percent of EU subsidies earmarked for Greece for the 2007-13 period were intended for green investments. But Greece has only invested 1 percent of gross domestic product in this sector. Meanwhile, revenues from environment-related taxes has fallen to 2 percent of GDP, one of the lowest rates among OECD countries.

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