Following a series of incidents last summer where tax inspectors were victims of assault by angry businessmen, the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) decided to offer free self-defense classes to its employees.
The free self-defense and physical training courses are aimed to improve the capability of tax inspectors to carry out their duties in what is often described as a ‘hostile environment’.
Tax evasion is rampant in Greece, and especially on its islands over the summer period. Last summer, inspectors were assaulted in a number of recorded incidents.
In Lefkada, a shopkeeper threw poultry meat at an inspector who went to check whether the shop was issuing receipts. Another shopkeeper in Patmos punched an AADE officer.
In Volos a local businessman shot at, but fortunately missed, a group of inspectors.
“Some, think that with insults, threats and uncivilized bahavior, they will avoid inspection. Nobody is above the law,” said the head of AADE, Giorgos Pitsillis, when he announced measures for the protection of the inspectors.