ATHENS – Greece’s high technology industry is angry that the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition, which had already buried Greeks with an avalanche of tax hikes and new taxes, now has proposed put a 2-percent levy on electronic appliances, including smartphones, tablets and computers, to benefit copyright holders.
The scheme was sent to Parliament where the government, including the tiny, pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) has a three-vote majority, allowing it to push through any legislation it wants with rival parties essentially powerless.
The tax will apply to all computers without exception – against the original plan for taxing appliances with more than 4 gigabytes of memory, said Kathimerini.
The Federation of Hellenic Information Technology & Communications Enterprises (SEPE) said it was an “unfair” and “anti-growth” levy that is alien to European reality,” but, like other SYRIZA critics, has been ignored.
SEPE said it was opposed to the law on the reasonable payment of copyright and said it would bring serious consequences to the industry.
The sector’s total burden from the levy is estimated at 65 million euros ($77.04 million) per year but in proportion to the market is 24 times higher than a similar tax in Spain and the cost is almost certainly to be passed on to consumers.