Shops and malls across Macedonia are bracing for a flood of new customers as a three day tax free weekend begins today. Until Monday, citizens can a value added tax rebate on any purchase of domestic products and any IT equipment worth a total of 30,000 denars (500 EUR).

The VAT rate is 5 or 18 percent, depending on the category of product, and the Government believes this will be enough to entice consumers to shop this weekend despite the alarmingly growing risk of the coronavirus. Macedonia has seen three consecutive days set records for the highest number of infections, all over 300 new cases a day after months of at most 250 cases.

The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party called on the Government to introduce several such periods and space them out through the year to reduce the risk of infection.