Safe de­posit boxes not so safe for tax dodgers

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece’s tax au­thor­i­ties are now tar­get­ing safe de­posit boxes, as a cir­cu­lar sent out by the Fi­nance Min­istry states that when a ma­jor case of cor­po­rate tax eva­sion is iden­ti­fied, in­spec­tors will con­fis­cate 50 per­cent of the cash held in safe de­posit boxes at banks and the whole of their non-mone­tary con­tents,

The two bind­ing bids for the Hel­lenic Su­gar In­dus­try, from York Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment and Sunoco of Ser­bia, have been un­der eval­u­a­tion since yes­ter­day, while the bid­ders’ meet­ings with Pi­raeus Bank are deemed cru­cial as the lender holds 130 mil­lion eu­ros of the com­pany’s debts and must agree to their ar­range­ment.

Greece sold 1.625 bil­lion eu­ros of six-month trea­sury bills yes­ter­day to roll over a ma­tur­ing is­sue, the Pub­lic Debt Man­age­ment Agency (PDMA) said. The T-bills were priced to yield 4.10 per­cent, down from 4.15 per­cent in a De­cem­ber auc­tion. The sale’s bid-cover ra­tio was 2.07, down from 2.11 in the pre­vi­ous sale. The amount raised in­cluded 375 mil­lion eu­ros in non-com­pet­i­tive bids. The set­tle­ment date for yes­ter­day’s auc­tion will be this Fri­day.

Tur­key scan­dal.

Un­cer­tainty caused by Tur­key’s cor­rup­tion scan­dal could hit eco­nomic growth in the near term, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Mehmet Sim­sek said yes­ter­day, while rat­ings agency Fitch warned that a pro­longed cri­sis could weaken the coun­try’s cred­it­wor­thi­ness. A wide-rang­ing graft in­ves­ti­ga­tion, cast by Prime Min­is­ter Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan as a plot to un­der­mine his gov­ern­ment, is shak­ing in­vestor con­fi­dence in Tur­key when the lira is lan­guish­ing around record lows, in­fla­tion ris­ing and growth slow­ing. “We are fac­ing a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge in the po­lit­i­cal arena but we think this will not be long-lived,” Sim­sek said in an in­ter­view on CNN Turk tele­vi­sion. “There could be a slow­down to some ex­tent in the first quar­ter. But ac­cord­ing to our base sce­nario, I be­lieve that as un­cer­tainty lessens and the en­vi­ron­ment calms... growth could still be around 4 per­cent [this year].” Fitch said that while the cri­sis had no im­me­di­ate im­pact on its BBB- sov­er­eign rat­ing for Tur­key, pro­longed un­cer­tainty could prove more dam­ag­ing.

ac­cord­ing to leg­is­la­tion passed just be­fore the Par­lia­ment in Athens shut down for the hol­i­day sea­son.

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