Hos­pi­tal fee to be passed on to smok­ers

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The gov­ern­ment has de­cided to scrap a con­tro­ver­sial 25-euro fee for pub­lic hos­pi­tals, Health Min­is­ter Ado­nis Ge­or­giadis said yes­ter­day.

Ge­or­giadis said the fee, which came into ef­fect on Jan­uary 1, would in­stead be passed on to to­bacco prod­uct prices, which are ex­pected to go up by 5 cents. An amend­ment was to be tabled in Par­lia­ment late last night.

The price hike is ex­pected to gen­er­ate some 40 mil­lion eu­ros in rev­enues, in line with gov­ern­ment tar­gets.

The de­ci­sion was an­nounced fol­low­ing talks yes­ter­day with MPs from ju­nior coali­tion part­ner PASOK, who had voiced strong reser­va­tions about the mea­sures.

“The Health Min­istry said from the very be­gin­ing that it would abol­ish the 25-euro fee if a fis­cal equiv­a­lent were found,” Ge­or­giadis said af­ter the talks.

The news prompted a re­ac­tion from rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Greece’s to­bacco in­dus­try.

“It was the worst pos­si­ble de­vel­op­ment for the sec­tor as the de­ci­sion will send the il­licit to­bacco trade through the roof,” said Nikos Nechamas, chair­man of the Hel­lenic As­so­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean To­bacco Com­pa­nies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.