Tax eva­sion com­plex, says new supremo

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Al­ter­nate Fi­nance Min­is­ter Try­fon Alex­i­adis has de­scribed the is­sue of tax eva­sion in Greece as com­plex in an in­ter­view with the Bel­gian news­pa­per L’Echo, while stress­ing that he will be judged on his abil­ity to col­lect taxes.

Asked why col­lect­ing taxes seems so hard in Greece, Alex­i­adis pointed to a lack of po­lit­i­cal will to en­sure a work­ing sys­tem and in­ter­ven­tions by politi­cians and oth­ers.

He noted, how­ever, that dur­ing the last 5,300 tax in­spec­tions he had not re­ceived any calls for in­ter­ven­tion, show­ing a public aware­ness that this gov­ern­ment’s higher of­fi­cials are very dif­fer­ent.

Af­ter five years of tax rises, Alex­i­adis noted that the sit­u­a­tion is tense. Last week tax col­lec­tors on the is­land of Rhodes were roughed up by busi­ness own­ers and cit­i­zens while con­duct­ing spot checks.

“These re­ac­tions are the start of fas­cism,” he said. “Cit­i­zens can­not at­tack of­fi­cials for do­ing their job.”

He added that Greece has one tax in­spec­tor for ev­ery 1,100 in­hab­i­tants, much lower than other Euro­pean coun­tries, out-of-date com­put­ers and no ac­cess to X-ray ma­chines such as in Al­ba­nia, Bulgaria and Ro­ma­nia, greatly re­duc­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of con­trols.

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