May 2, 2010 - Greece's finance minister outlined deep spending cuts and tax increases Sunday to free up a multi-billion-euro rescue by the International Monetary Fund and European Union, the first bailout for one of the 16 countries using the euro.
Taxes would also be increased, including further hikes on alcohol and tobacco. The top bracket of sales tax rising from 21 percent to 23 percent.
Euromonitor International- Tobacco in Greece: Contrary to the European trend of declining smoking rates, the smoking population in Greece is on the rise. Greek women are the heaviest smokers in the world, while Greek men hold the fourth place. In addition, Greece has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of tobacco products among EU Member States. Despite this, volume sales of cigarettes in Greece declined in 2008, as shrinking disposable incomes pushed more Greek smokers towards cheaper RYO products.
Reference: Greece outlines harsh spending cuts before bailout by DEREK GATOPOULOS, Associated Press, 5/2/2010.
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(Hellenic Republic, Greek)