Cabi­net dis­misses rev­enues chief

Sav­vaidou forced out as draft bill said to in­crease rather than re­duce over­sight

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day dis­missed the head of the Gen­eral Sec­re­tar­iat for Pub­lic Rev­enues, Ka­te­rina Sav­vaidou, cit­ing mis­de­meanor charges that have been brought against her, in a move that raised ques­tions about the author­i­ties’ com­mit­ment to the body’s in­de­pen­dence.

The de­ci­sion to dis­miss Sav­vaidou, who last week was charged with breach of duty for grant­ing tele­vi­sion sta­tions more time to hand over taxes on ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue, was an­nounced by gov­ern­ment spokes­woman, Olga Gerovasili, af­ter a cabi­net meet­ing. Gerovasili said the cabi­net mem­bers de­cided “unan­i­mously” to dis­miss Sav­vaidou. “In such dif­fi­cult times for Greek so­ci­ety... it is not ac­cept­able for a pub­lic of­fi­cial to op­er­ate against the pub­lic in­ter­est,” Gerovasili said, sug­gest­ing that Sav­vaidou had “fa­vored” cer­tain com­pa­nies by grant­ing them addi- tional time to pay their dues.

A Euro­pean of­fi­cial told Kathimerini that the move “cre­ates con­cern that the de­politi­ciza­tion of the pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion is not pro­gress­ing as it should be and that goes against what was agreed in the sum­mer.”

The of­fi­cial was re­fer­ring to a pro­vi­sion of Greece’s bailout stip­u­lat­ing that author­i­ties should in­crease the au­ton­omy of the rev­enues author­ity.

Kathimerini un­der­stands, how­ever, that author­i­ties plan to do the op­po­site. Ac­cord­ing to leg­is­la­tion that is cur­rently be­ing drafted, a new body is to be set up, called the Greek Author­ity for Pub­lic Rev­enues, and is to be su­per­vised by both Tsakalo­tos and by a nine-mem­ber coun­cil. The fi­nance min­is­ter is to be in­formed of all the de­ci­sions as well as the gen­eral di­rec­tion of the author­ity’s plan­ning.

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