Greece Asks EU Help To Catch Tax Cheats

DebtConceding that Greece can’t deal with tax cheats alone, the government is going to bring in tax experts and analysts from other European countries to help stem the runaway problem which has cost the country more than $70 billion.

The reinforcements are coming from Spain, France, The Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium and will help Greece’s notoriously inefficient tax inspection agency and financial crimes squad find tax cheats and try to bring in more revenues.

It comes as the government is set to impose more reforms, including increasing the corporate tax rate to 26 percent from 20 percent, and raising the rate on middle-class taxpayers from 40 to 42 percent, setting off fears that more Greeks will now try to evade paying. The law also aims at eliminating tax advantages for self-employed professionals who are believed to be among the biggest tax evaders and who often don’t give receipts for their services so they can hide their income.

Finance Ministry officials said that the only option left to increase revenues is by reducing tax evasion and chasing unpaid debts as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said he will not impose any more pay cuts, tax hikes or slashed pensions on beleaguered Greeks.

The newspaper Kathimerini said each group of foreign experts is offering specialized help in certain areas: The French are providing know-how in inspections of the very wealthy, the Spanish have taken on the construction and real estate sectors, the Swedes are drafting a plan for electronic checks on high-income taxpayers, and the Belgians and the Dutch are occupied with setting up a call center for collecting debts and reminding taxpayers when payments are due.

Greece’s international lenders, the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) also are pressing the government to seize assets and bank accounts of tax cheats. Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras is calling for mandatory jail time for those convicted of evading taxes.

 


  • leventi

    This is a positive sign. Finally…. Only with outside help can Greece get it right. It will not be an easy road ahead but in the long run it will have been worth it. What a pity this wasn’t done 10 years ago. The pain would have been much less.

  • The maverik

    It’s never too late but they should’ve asked for help some time ago before the big sharks and the corrupts from all sides secured their heist in secure places…

  • Alex

     Samaras is a man of action. So far I love the guy.

    1.  cracking down on illegals (despite what the anti-Greek NGOs that pretend not to notice the Skopians behavior rant)

    2. cracking down on corruption and tax evasion

    3. Trying to balance budgets in principled fashion (despite what that ranting far leftists want)

    4. One of the few politicians that can be trusted to protect us in the name dispute (e.g. the last leftist government bizarre have mps that lobbies of behalf of the Skopians. If history and Syriza’s MP are any judge, if push came to shove the treasonous “anti-nationalist” communists… would murder Greeks for the sake of IMRO again)

  • Alex

    Along with Pasok I blame the prior ND government for not cracking down. Rather than balance budgets in principled fashion by cutting spending, they instead gave in to union blackmail and cooked the books. 

    Samaras is different though. Unlike the prior Socialists he is making savage cuts even though it is driving the leftists crazy. The ranting leftists don’t understand we have no choice. Our welfare queens  think they are entitled to that money when it is not our money. It is the money of foreign creditors and governments. They are injecting billions to try and keep us solvent in exchange for reigning in our spending. This is not an unreasonable request on their part. 

    Greek leftists go on and on about GD but the realiity is anti-government far leftist extremism is a far far bigger problem in Greece. For instance,  two articles in the last 24 hours about leftist violence against other Greek and a couple on this forum are bizarrely cheering on leftist terrorism that encourages civil war. (i.e lawless far leftist thugs that claim to be for “democracy” but then use violence against a democratically elected government)

  • Alex

    You sometimes say reasonable things Maverik. Don’t get trapped by the commie rhetoric like commie fanatics like “world arts:”.

    This rich and politicians  are all corrupt lingo is primarily far leftist rhetoric.  In reality the poor are even more corrupt.  (many of the poor are lazy, uneducated, abuse services, and pay little or no taxes). Greece’s problem isn’t the rich.

    There are many issues that have to be fixed from a practical economic standpoint but from an ideological standpoint  the biggest issue  is many Greeks have an attitude of entitlement. They expect their politicians and wealthy people to feed them. They want to live off the backs of others… rather than their own labours.

    When greeks realize that politicians and rich people are not to blame for all their ills…. and instead focus on improving their own lives through production, Greece will improve. Until then all the finger pointing and freeloading will achieve very little. Wealth does not grow on government trees. It is produced by hard working creative individual that fill needs and wants of the marketplace.

  • Tzak12345678

    Why arent you running for parliament? You provide more direction and clarity than most politicians!!

  • Alex

    Some (not all) of our politicians may be corrupt but they are also a reflection of the mindset of many of our voters. Some of those that claim to be “against corruption” in practice sell their votes to highest bidder. (i.e. whichever politician promises them the biggest free lunch and easy route)

    On the other hand I would ruthlessly cut many services, jail criminals and violent political extremists, and swiftly deport every single illegal from Greece.

    From a foreign policy standpoint I would kick out any foreign collaborator of the Skopians.and end diplomatic relations with Turkey in protest for their backroom lobbying in support of FYROM irredentists.while they dishonestly pretend not to notice the Skopaians sudden change into ancient Macedonians  (thus making it clearer to the world who is bullying whom)

    To the wealthy, I would encourage some of them to stop being unpatriotic thieves that undermine our homeland.

    To the poor, I would say some of them need to get off their fat lazy  incompetent asses and get to work rather than whining for handouts.

    In short…I could never get elected because I say it how it is.

    Unfortunately many voters prefer to be lied to with empty promises for free meals and flattery that they are “victims” to someone else. This is precisely why communist thieves like KKE and Syriza now get a combined 30% of the vote. Pasoks former supporters moved on when Pasok stopped offering them promises for free things and instead supported austerity. (i.e. our government finally trying to balance budgets honestly rather than procrastinating and cooking the books again)

  • mathematics

    Better NOW than LATER.

  • Bobby V.

    I think we do need help in this area from outside sources……there is too much corruption in this country!