During an interview with the Financial Times, IMF chief Christine Lagarde talked about all major financial and political issues in China, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. However, when asked about Greece, she appeared hasty to move to other subjects.
Lagarde only commented on taxation in Greece and raised the burning issue of tax evasion. When asked about past comments regarding tax evasion by the wealthy Greeks, she said: “I better not say too much because, you know, when I have talked about Greece and its taxes before, I got death threats and we had to increase security,” adding, “but is the shipping industry really paying its taxes? Are others? I don’t think so.
The interviewer asked Lagarde if it was part of the problem that so many Greeks – or other wealthy elites – have moved to places such as London, in search of jobs or lower taxes. Lagarde sighed and acknowledged that this is not just a Greek problem. “I hear from the embassy that you have people in their thirties, say, leaving France,” she said. “When talented people feel they have to leave their own country because they don’t feel they can establish their businesses or find opportunities, it is very sad.”