Legendary Greek singer Tolis Voskopoulos owes €5.5 million to the Greek tax authorities, which forced his wife, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Angela Gerekou to resign this week. The information was found by Elevterotipia newspaper and it also says that the singer has not paid taxes in the past 17 years. The total amount of tax due according to the newspaper is over €3,160,000, to which approximate amount of € 2,310,000 must be added as criminal charges for defaulting and the additional fees to the state worth over €17,000.
The astronomical amount shocked the entire Greek society at a moment when the new socialist government of PASOK is going on a crusade against tax evasion and corruption. Combating tax crimes stands at the highest level of the government agenda of George Papandreou, and even is even enshrined in the 2010 Budget, which is supposed to collect about €1.2 billion unpaid tax liabilities. "Few more like Voskopoulos and we have arranged the problem of reducing the government deficit this year," commented ironically 23-year old student in economics Dimitris Kostopolos for GRReporter.
Public disclosure became known on Monday morning of this week. Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Angela Gerekou, unfortunate wife of Tolis Voskopoulos, resigned during the evening. Opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said that the resignation of the Deputy Minister is very late and made a sharp criticism to the tourism policy of the government as a whole. Meanwhile, Prime Minister George Papandreou had a meeting with wealthy businessmen from Greek origin, to persuade them that, despite the restive situation, Greece is a stable and secure country for foreign investment. Immediately after the closed meeting, Papandreou left on to take part in summit in Madrid between members of the European Union-Latin America-Caribbean. After 09:00PM in the evening when the Prime Minister came back in Athens, he accepted the resignation of Angela Gerekou.