The EU’s “green” tax framework and tax breaks dominated a Tuesday session at the 6th Delphi Economic Forum, which is taking place as a “hybrid” event in Athens instead of its usual venue, the Delphi archaeological site in south-central Greece.
In his statements, Gerassimos Thomas, the director-general of DG Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD) and previously Greece’s deputy energy minister, said the Union’s tax systems often act as a counter-incentive, thereby favoring, by default, the production and consumption of high polluting forms of energy.
The goal, he said, is to raise minimum tax rates on such fuels over the next decade, essentially a harmonization across the EU.
Specifically for Greece, he clarified that the already high taxes slapped on fuels mean that it will not be affected by such a policy, but could, in fact, provide for a competitive edge within the Union.
“Greece’s current policy is among the ‘greenest’ in the EU, and serves as an example for other countries,” he said.
Thomas briefly detailed the coming proposals by the Commission, in July, for a transition to ‘greener’ energy production and consumption, such as abolishing exemptions and discounts for various mainstream forms of energy, tax breaks for production of “green” energy and legal framework changes that regulate imports from third countries.