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Greek banks reopen as bridge financing program is launched

July 20, 2015, 11:27 UTC+3 ATHENS
The value-added tax on public transportation, taxi, plane and ship fares in Greece will grow from 13 to 23%, along with restaurants and catering services
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© AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

ATHENS, July 20. /TASS/. Banks will reopen in Greece on Monday and VAT (value-added tax) for many products and services will increase as creditors are providing bridge financing to Athens, part of which will immediately go for repaying the loan to the European Central Bank.

The National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) told TASS that "additional direct and indirect taxes will stand at around €4 billion in 2016, though in 2015 they will be less." "Only increasing VAT will bring €785 million in 2015 and €2.39 billion in the next year," ESEE said.

VAT on public transportation, taxi, plane and ship fares will grow from 13 to 23%, along with restaurants and catering services. VAT on electricity, water and several types of products will be set at 13% Taxes for hotels will be increased from 6.5 to 13% starting in October, after the tourist season.

ESEE President Vasilis Korkidis said that increasing VAT will lead to price growth for packed products by 8.8% and for hotels by 4.2%

The financial situation in Greece remains unstable. Greece will receive €7 billion approved on Friday by creditors in the framework of bridge financing program. A total of €3.5 billion will be used to repay the loan to the European Central Bank, another €2 billion - to the International Monetary Fund. The remaining funds will help the country survive through the period of talks on the new three-year credit program worth around €86 billion.

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