State re­sorts to con­fis­ca­tions

Thou­sands of bank ac­counts and real es­tate be­long­ing to in­debted tax­pay­ers be­ing tar­geted ev­ery day

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY EVGENIA TZORTZI & PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The state is car­ry­ing out a blitz of con­fis­ca­tions, with tax au­thor­i­ties and so­cial se­cu­rity funds tar­get­ing the small amounts left in Greeks’ bank ac­counts, as well as their real es­tate as­sets, to cover tax­pay­ers’ ex­pired debts.

Data seen by Kathimerini show that money was con­fis­cated from 151,000 bank ac­counts in the first half of 2016, against 136,000 in the whole of 2015. The av­er­age amount taken per con­fis­ca­tion in Jan­uaryJune 2016 was 530 eu­ros. Tax au­thor­i­ties man­aged to col­lect no more than 80 mil­lion eu­ros in the process, as 97 per­cent of the con­fis­ca­tions con­cerned amounts be­low 3,000 eu­ros each.

The for­ward­ing of con­fis­ca­tion no­tices has reached a tor­ren­tial rate, to­tal­ing up to 10,000 per day, although just 13 per­cent are ac­tu­ally car­ried out. June was quite a pro­lific month as 32,500 bank ac­counts were raided by the tax au­thor­i­ties.

The mass con­fis­ca­tions of bank sav­ings are fa­cil­i­tated by the fact that the state now has full ac­cess to all bank clients’ ac­counts.

The seizure of bank sav­ings is ex­pected to ex­pand fur­ther in the com­ing months and up to the end of the year, be­cause, as the techni- cal agree­ment at­tached to the bailout pro­gram signed by the gov­ern­ment and its cred­i­tors dic­tates, the state must col­lect 5 bil­lion eu­ros by the end of 2016 from account con­fis­ca­tions and prop­erty auc­tions.

Prop­erty auc­tions

Tax au­thor­i­ties have started pro­grams for on­line prop­erty auc­tions, with 55 no­tices al­ready up­loaded on the web­site of the Gen­eral Sec- 1.1070 re­tariat for Pub­lic Rev­enue for auc­tions to take place up to Oc­to­ber 19. They con­cern apart­ments and farm­land.

As for the so­cial se­cu­rity funds, the au­thor­ity cre­ated to col­lect ex­pired debts man­aged to garner just 170 mil­lion eu­ros in the year to end­June, of which only 10 per­cent came from con­fis­ca­tions – the rest con­cerned pay­ment scheme col­lec­tions. The tar­get for the en­tire year is an am­bi­tious 750 mil­lion.

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