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Five hundred people in Greece owe one billion euro

11 June 2012 / 20:06:49  GRReporter
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From November 2011 to date, 502 people have been arrested for unpaid debts to the state, totalling around one billion euro. The latest information provided by police also shows that seven of the detained incorrect taxpayers were foreigners, 446 were men and 56 were women. The offenders were mainly from the big cities of Greece - Athens and Thessaloniki. Despite the efforts of tax authorities, tax revenues in Greece during the first half of this year are about 30% less than the revenue collected in the same period of 2011. To improve the collection of citizens’ duties, caretaker Finance Minister Yiannis Zanyas decided to carry out an additional inspection of businessmen wanting to fall under Article 99 of the liquidation law.

Bitter experience has shown so far that many of those who went bankrupt under the law had exported capital to the UK or bought property there as hidden investment. Now, the Ministry is going to inspect 1,500 people, who liquidated their companies in the past year and a half and are indebted to financial institutions or individuals, who have previously acquired property or bank accounts abroad. In case unjustified transactions are established, the Ministry will resort to restoration of damages and seizures.
"We want to strengthen the efforts in fighting tax crime and to achieve the objectives set in the revenue collection budget," Zanyas said after his meeting on Monday with the management board of the agency fighting tax fraud. He stressed that the political uncertainty that has been typical for Greece in recent months has adversely affected public institutions and they relaxed their efforts. "This cannot be tolerated," he was adamant. Zanyas stressed that elections are a democratic process that is underway. They will also find the government for the country that will take Greece out of the financial abyss into which it has fallen. "Paying taxes is a national obligation. We are determined to continue and reinforce the actions of public mechanisms to optimize the results."

Meanwhile, the National Statistical Service has announced that the index, measuring wholesale productivity has dropped by 17%. It was negative for 2011 too but the demand had decreased by 13% then. A positive sign in the black picture is the slight increase of exports over imports, which rose by 6.6% in April this year. However, until it becomes clear what road Greece will choose, investments in the country will remain frozen.

Tags: EconomyMarketsTaxesLossesBankruptciesGreece
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