By Chrysostomos Tsoufis

August fifteenth… Traditional festival – preferably in Vitsa Zagori or any other village in Zagori but these are subjective. You stand in line, order the “chops” and drinks, and after your order is ready, you categorically state that you will pay electronically. The person in charge does NOT laugh, he answers of course and prepares it POS in order to complete the transaction. You pay and leave for your table…

Right now the picture I just described is a science fiction picture. From the New Year, however, it will become a reality, so at next summer’s festivals – if you want – you will be able to buy your souvlaki and beers with your card or mobile phone.

Ministry of Finance – the matter is run by the deputy minister Haris Theocharis – and the Ministry of Development are putting the final touches on a ministerial decision which is expected by mid-November and which will expand electronic transactions to retail. In other words, from the new year, dozens of sectors of the economy will be obliged to offer their customers the possibility of paying with POS and will not – as is the case now – require them to put their hand in their pocket for cash. Among others, the obligation to install a POS will have:

– Cab
– Cinemas
– Kiosks and Grocery Stores
– Fairs and Markets
– Cinemas and Concert Venues
– Trade
– Stock Exchange Services
– Insurance companies
– Gyms
– Parking

According to information from, the fine for not installing a POS – while there is an obligation – remains at €1500.

As for the specific branches, the obligation of the interconnection of the POS that will be supplied with the cash registers until February 29. As finance ministry officials explained to, the branches that will now acquire the obligation for POS, have a comparative advantage compared to the others that are already obliged because they will buy new POS machines that do not need upgrading. So all they have to do is from the day of purchase of the POS to connect it to the cash register within 30 days.

It is estimated that the relevant ministerial decision may concern more than 130,000 professionals and, as is reasonable, it will concern one more stone in the effort launched by the Ministry of Finance to limit tax evasion.

Just yesterday the Minister of Finance Kostis Hatzidakis presented to parliament data according to which 1/3 of freelancers declared either zero income or losses last year. And of those who declared that they have an income, 1/4 showed an annual income of up to €5,000, that is, they claim to live on €420/month, less than someone who may employ.

The goal of the Ministry of Finance is by the end of 2026 to have reduced the famous VAT gap close to the European average and 9%, which will add an additional €2.5 billion to public revenues which could be directed to additional tax reductions.