A quick Saturday-night update: Greece is planning on decreasing the standard VAT rate from 23 percent to 20 percent, and the reduced VAT rate from 13 percent to 10 percent. See here for the Reuters news item.
This is an interesting development, particularly where Spain for example is reporting good results from its previous VAT increase – to a point that Spain is now out of the economic danger zone. See here for that report.
The Netherlands is floating the idea of getting rid of the lowest VAT rate entirely – and move all the reduced rated supplies into the 19% standard rate. That proposal seems to receive a fairly chilly reception though.
The Czech Republic is contemplating something along the same lines: integrating the reduced and standard VAT rates into a single 17.5% rate by 2013.