“We state that we will react and not accept the creation of new facilities on our islands to trap migrants and refugees. We consider the interpretation that the lower VAT tax rate has been given in exchange for the creation of new facilities to be unacceptable. Our islands cannot handle more migrants or refugees and this must be understood by all. The reduction in numbers is a top priority for all of the northern Aegean,” said the mayors of the five island set to benefit from the lower tax rates in a joint statement.
Last week, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced that lower VAT rates on the five islands at the forefront of Greece’s refugee crisis would remain in place. The five islands are: Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros.