I don't think I'd like to be a Greek port police officer when all the skippers who have laid up in Greece
for the winter return next year to find they've suddenly become subject to a significant unexpected tax.
It's cleverly framed not to penalise Greek private vessels (the vast majority of which are motor
boats under 12 metres) and charter
operations (who get a 50 per cent reduction). The government's argument, of course, is that most surrounding countries levy various forms of tax, e.g. Croatia
, Montenegro and Turkey
. The difference is (I'm afraid to say) that most Greek harbours provide absolutely nothing for the money
, whereas in their competitor countries visiting yachts at least get a modicum of facilities, even if there are notable exceptions.
It wouldn't be so bad if this money
was going to be reinvested in general harbour infrastructure to e.g. repair broken mooring
rings, install water
and electricity points, clear old mooring
chains and blocks, refurbish quays, even maybe put in laid moorings etc, but sadly that's highly unlikely.
I fear the net result of this tax will be a boost to government
revenues at the expense of hundreds of Greek businesses that depend on cruisers for survival, since many cruisers (as some of the postings here show) will bypass Greece
or simply spend less time there.
In 2013 many taverna owners and other businesses in cruising areas were already complaining about reduced trade
- they may (for no fault of their own) find 2014 marks the start of some even tougher years to come.