Five islands affected by migration will keep lower VAT rate for six more months

Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, the five islands most affected by migratory waves, will maintain their lower VAT regime for another six months, until the end of June 2018, the finance ministry announced on Tuesday.

The government had announced it would raise value-added tax on all the islands from 17 to 24 percent as of January 1, to align it with the rate in the rest of the country.

“Recognizing the particular problems facing the islands, the government agreed with the institutions to extend the measure for the special VAT rates for Lesvos, Chios, Kos and Leros until 30/06/2018,” the ministry said in a press release.

The abolition of the lower tax rate will be implemented on all the other islands on December 31. The ministry said it will give those islands a “one-off social compensation”, the amount of which will take account of social and economic criteria and will be announced in due time.