General

Athens mayor suggests city tax on tourists

The mayor of Athens suggested a city tax for tourists, media reports said Wednesday.

Athens, which “has 650,000 permanent residents and serves 3.5 million people a day,” is under extra pressure from a tourist influx, Kostas Bakoyannis told the Union of Municipalities and Communities, according to the Kathimerini newspaper.

“Tell me, how does that equation work?” he said, noting that popular tourist destinations in Europe, including Barcelona, Brussels, Berlin and Rome charge a similar tax to tourists.

Bakoyannis accused public institutions in Athens of failing to pay their bills and municipal taxes.

“The ministries don’t pay their dues. They pay for their lights, water, and telephones but they don’t pay the municipality for their trash or outside lighting. They don’t pay municipal taxes,” he said.

Data from Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) in September said tourism was a key driver in Greece with a 7.7% GDP growth in the second quarter, compared to the same period in 2021.

Greece forecasts more than €18 billion ($18.5 billion) in tourism income for 2022.

Source: Anadolu Agency