The usual confusion as … usual! While the Finance Ministry allows consumers to go without paying if the merchant does not issue a receipt, the Trade Association threatens to raise charges on ‘theft’ for those consumers who follow the ministry’s orders.
Greek finance ministry put into effect on 12. January 2013 a provision that allows consumers to go without paying in a restaurant, for example, if the manager does not issue a receipt. Furthermore the ministry obliges shop owners to display in visible positions in their signs both in Greek and English that indicate “The consumer has no obligation to pay, if no receipt is being issued”.
The measure affects primarily restaurants, cafeterias, shops but also electricians, plumbers and vehicle repair facilities and aims to combat tax evasion.
At the same time the Greek Trade Association urges shop owners to display sign warning consumers that if they go without paying they may face theft charges.
Nevertheless, according to media reports, quite some shop, restaurant and cafeterias owners declared they knew nothing about their obligation to display the signs that consumers may leave without paying.
Control units during the last two days fined some owners with 1,000 euro each.
PS What I love in this country is that measures go into force and affect some but not all. Why shouldn’t I live a doctor’s practice without payment if the good man refuses to give me a receipt?