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Document 62011CN0293

Case C-293/11: Action brought on 9 June 2011 — European Commission v Hellenic Republic

OJ C 232, 6.8.2011, p. 21–21 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 232/21

Action brought on 9 June 2011 — European Commission v Hellenic Republic

(Case C-293/11)

2011/C 232/33

Language of the case: Greek


Applicant: European Commission (represented by: D. Triantafillou and C. Soulay)

Defendant: Hellenic Republic

Form of order sought

declare that, by applying the special VAT scheme for travel agents in cases where the travel services have been sold to a person other than the traveller, the Hellenic Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 306 to 310 of Directive 2006/112/EC; (1)

order the Hellenic Republic to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The scheme for travel agents applies only to services which are supplied directly to travellers, in accordance with the directive’s wording in most languages. Even the English version, which uses, at one point only, the term ‘customer’, would not make sense unless it related solely to travellers. The same conclusion results from a combined reading of all the relevant provisions (systemic argument). A historic interpretation also supports the same conclusion, since the VAT directive merely codified the Sixth Directive, without altering its content. So far as concerns a teleological interpretation, what is important is that double taxation of agents in certain Member States not be allowed (by the exclusion of deductions in the event of extended application of the scheme for travel agents). Any shortcoming of the directive cannot be corrected by individual States without its text being officially amended.

(1)  OJ L 347, 11.12.2006.