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Tax Hike Closes 4,000 Greek Restaurants

A rise in Value Added Tax to 23 percent that included restaurants in a bid to raise revenues has backfired as a report showed it has led to the closing of 4,000 establishments and the loss of 30,000 jobs.
The Association of Organized Food Catering Chains (SEPOA) said turnover declined by 40 percent in the full year since the tax hike that was designed to bring in more money and that  turnover fell from $3.87 billion to $2.32 billion.
SEPOA is once again asking for the immediate reduction of the VAT rate to 9 percent, so that the sector’s enterprises can become viable again and to avoid the loss of more jobs, while increasing state revenues, but the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has shown no interest in doing so.
Even popular restaurants said they are showing losses of 50 percent and more because of pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions put on Greek workers, pensioners and the poor that have slowed spending almost to a standstill. Many restaurants have put out hawkers imploring passers-by to come in for a meal.

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