Publishers Fight Online Ad Tax

Online media publishers have asked Greece's new government to abandon plans for a 20 percent tax on ads news websites.

ATHENS – Online media publishers have asked Greece’s new government to abandon the idea of a 20 percent tax on advertisements on news websites.

The coalition led by Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said it would lower taxes but is going after the online sites to bring in money as cash is running out fast in state coffers.

The publishers said the levy, to be forwarded to Parliament, which is controlled by the government, would threaten existence of sites.

They also said that foreign companies won’t have to pay, giving them an unfair competitive advantage in a tight marketplace.

Publishers complained that the government has not consulted with them over the tax, which will be the same as for TV ads, and called for the coalition of SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks (ANEL) to talk with them first.