Greece Turns Eye to Tax Evaders



    ‘The Los Angeles Times’ wrote very recently reporting from Athens about the situation concerning the hunting down of tax evaders and how people feel about it.

    More extensively the article states:

    The villains will be taken by surprise, Kapeleris Ioannis said, and then Greece’s chief of financial crimes investigator laughed.

    The Greeks are in the mood for something radical. Slashed retirement benefits, enormous layoffs and reduced salaries imposed to the people due to the huge debt, has turned everyone’s head. The government is the first identifiable target of the rage, but there is also a profound disturbance towards the amorphous idea of wealth and corruption.

    “I want to know who they are,” said Dialina Vasiliki, a 53-year-old civil servant in the Defense Ministry “They should be punished.”

    “I believe we Greeks still haven’t realized what we are facing,” Vasiliki said. Because of recent austerity measures, her own retirement benefit will be cut off.

    Adras Maroudas, a 19-year-old chemistry student said “the whole culture of Greeks is, get as much as you can now, and get away with it, and this won’t change. It’s deep in the Greek soul.”

    More to the point, he added, politicians help themselves, so why shouldn’t we?

    Today, the Greek government is on a crusade. There are assumptions that there are about 30 billion euros passing through the country, off the books and untaxed. But now, the government wants that money and it wants it in cash. This year, they have imposed more than $1.5 billion in fines; compared with about $500 million for the same period last year.

    “People are angry,” investigator Ioannis said. “They have to know that those evaders are being punished. We’re just showing that we’re actually working here.”

    However, many Greeks say they would rather see the investigators turn their attention and interest to the government itself.