Brus­sels to probe levy on PCs, tablets

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is prob­ing the 2 per­cent levy the gov­ern­ment has im­posed on com­put­ers and tablets. The new tax is im­posed in fa­vor of copy­right hold­ers, with the gov­ern­ment rein­tro­duc­ing the law that had been abol­ished in 2002.

Com­mis­sion spokesman Mar­gari­tis Schi­nas said yes­ter­day that Brus­sels is ex­am­in­ing the is­sue to es­tab­lish whether this third-party levy com­plies with the ob­jec­tives of the bailout agree­ment. He added that this as­sess­ment by the Com­mis­sion has an ur­gent char­ac­ter and any de­ci­sions will be made be­fore a visit by Euro­pean Eco­nomic Af­fairs Com­mis­sioner Pierre Moscovici to Athens next Tuesday.

The bailout agree­ment clearly dic­tates the re­duc­tion and grad­ual abo­li­tion of all third-party levies in Greece.

The new “tablet levy,” as the tax is com­monly known in Greece, was passed by the Cul­ture Min­istry. It dic­tates the im­po­si­tion of a 2 per­cent tax on any ap­pli­ance with a RAM mem­ory that ex­ceeds 4 GB. It fol­lowed a last-minute in­ter­ven­tion by Min­is­ter Ly­dia Ko­nior­dou who changed the levy’s rate from the orig­i­nal 1 per­cent to 2 per­cent, while with­draw­ing the pro­posed tax on smart­phones. The law was voted last Thursday with­out any con­sul­ta­tion by the par­ties con­cerned.

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