ATHENS, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Some 65 percent of wine produced in Greece is sold in the black market to avoid taxation, the National Inter Professional Organization of Vine and Wine of Greece (EDOAO) said Tuesday.
The excise tax on wine the government introduced in January 2016 in a bid to raise revenues for the debt-laden state, has backfired, as more and more wine producers and consumers are turning to the shadow economy, Kathimerini daily reported citing EDOAO president Yannis Vogiatzis.
"The excise tax has ultimately acted as a punishment for those who want to do business legally," Vogiatzis said.
Finance Ministry officials estimated that the new tax of 20 cents per liter would add about 60 million euros (62.2 million US dollars) per year in state coffers.
In the first half of 2016, according to official data provided to EDOAO, only 4 million euros had been raised.
Greece is among the top 10 wine producers across the European Union with over 300 indigenous varieties. According to figures of the last five years, wine exports had risen 8 percent annually on average.
Dionyssis Grammatikos, an agronomist in the Department for Vines and Olives at the Ministry of Agricultural Development, told Kathimerini that of the 111,000 vine growers registered in Greece, just 26,000 submit a harvest report every year, as stipulated by Greek and European legislation.