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Greek petrol stations are fighting theft, unreasonable fines and smuggling

08 February 2012 / 21:02:27  GRReporter
5271 reads

Until it becomes clear whether the levels of penalty fees will be frozen or revised, the Ministry of Finance has confessed that Greece is losing almost a billion euro each year from the sale of smuggled fuel. "There is no political will to tackle these phenomena. Three laws requiring the installation of control devices in all levels of the supply chain have been voted for the past ten years, but none of them has been applied in practice," said Harris Mavrakis. Fuel smuggling is particularly strong in northern Greece, where tanks have easy access to Bulgaria and Macedonia, where the fuel is significantly cheaper due to lower taxation. Insiders explained that the most common practices are for empty tanks to submit full documentation as if they export to Bulgaria. Then, they return to Greece with cheap fuel. "As you can understand, the implementation of all this assumes the involvement of people not only from our sector, but also from the public administration, customs and tax services," said a member of the organization. He also added pointedly, "The question remains, because although the Ministry of Finance is aware that it is losing almost one billion from illegal fuel trade it has not introduced a common control system for the trade activities from the refinery to the car. Who benefits from smuggling?"

Tags: EconomySmugglingGreeceFuelExcise dutyFines
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