PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis announces 3-year suspension on VAT for construction

The aim is to kickstart the construction industry

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday announced a three-year suspension of VAT payments on any new construction, including unsold properties built after January 1, 2006, in an address to the Economist’s 23rd Roundtable with the Government of Greece on Wednesday evening held at a coastal hotel south of Athens.

“VAT on all new building permits is suspended for the next three years, as it is for older permits issued after January 1, 2006. In other words, all new constructions are exempt from VAT as are properties built the last 14 years that have not been sold yet,” Mitsotakis said.

He said the exemption from VAT was also valid in cases known as “antiparochi”, where owners provide the land to builders in exchange for a number of future apartments. In all cases, Mitsotakis asserted, the exemption from VAT would be claimed with a simple application.

The prime minister noted that the real estate market is recovering, with prices of property in Greece increasing by 7.7 pct in the second quarter of 2019, and noted the need for courageous measures that will boost construction activity and the real estate property market at large. He also spoke of Greece as a country that “is no longer asking its partners for favors – Greece talks to its partners and is no longer a mere listener, but also a creative interlocutor.”

The prime minister also spoke of the omnibus development draft bill expected to be voted on Thursday by the Parliament, saying that “the aim is for growth to come from investments and to unblock major investment projects plagued by bureaucracy.”

“Our program also extends to infrastructure and energy policy, as 30 pct of Athens International Airport is being privatized and 10 ports nationwide will be developed with the participation of private funds,” Mitsotakis asserted, saying that thousands of state-owned buildings will follow the same route.

In terms of energy policy, the PM said that “Greece’s reliance on lignite for electricity production will end entirely by 2028,” and mentioned that “a pilot implementation of electronic bookkeeping in companies has begun and soon it will be compulsory across the spectrum and for everyone.”

The Greek prime minister finally referred to the European Commission’s approval of the so-called Project Hercules, the government’s plan to provide almost 9 billion euros in state guarantees to help banks reduce their debt, with the money coming from a buffer of some 40 billion euros worth of citizen’s tax payments.

source athens news agency