Friday May 29, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Government planning council of ‘wise men’ to tackle tax evasion

The government is planning the creation of a “committee of wise men” to crack down on widespread tax evasion, which continues to thwart Greece’s efforts to emerge from its debt crisis. The former head of National Bank, Vassilis Rapanos, is slated to head the new body, Kathimerini understands.

According to sources, Rapanos, who nearly assumed the post of Finance Minister in June before health problems prompted him to bow out, has been offered the post but has yet to give his response. The aim of the committee would be to overhaul the country’s tax administration to more efficiently target tax evasion.

Both Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras stressed the importance of curbing tax evasion on the sidelines of a European Union leaders’ summit in Brussels at the end of last week where a decision was made to approve the release of some 50 billion euros in rescue loans to Greece. At the same time, ministry officials in Athens submitted to Parliament the first of two tax bills aimed at boosting much-needed revenue. The second bill, to be unveiled early next year, is expected to bring a more radical overhaul of the tax system as well as substituting suspended sentences for large-scale tax evaders with immediate jail terms. Addressing a health sector conference on Saturday, Stournaras described this second bill as “the heavy tax law,” adding that despite the progress made by authorities so far “the road ahead remains long and steep.”

Representatives of Greece’s troika of foreign creditors – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – are reportedly aware that there is little scope for further tax hikes on austerity-weary Greeks and have emphasized the importance of the authorities finally launching an effective crackdown on tax evasion. According to sources, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Stournaras in Brussels “do something about tax administration reform and tax evasion.”

In an interview with Kathimerini, the European Commissioner overseeing taxation issues, Algirdas Semeta, said Greece could boost annual revenue by around 10 billion euros if it limited tax evasion to the EU average.

Samaras, whose shaky coalition government appears to have been buoyed by last week’s loan decision, is now turning his attention to tackling two of the fundamental sources of the crisis – tax evasion and a lack of growth. He is expected to discuss both issues, along with efforts to push forward stalled privatizations, in scheduled talks tomorrow with his coalition partners, Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK and Fotis Kouvelis of Democratic Left.

The provisions of a tax bill that was submitted to Parliament last week and is expected to be voted on after the holidays will also be on the agenda of talks, as well as general political upheaval. There are fears that support for the parties in the coalition will plummet in opinion polls early next year when fresh cuts to salaries and pensions are felt. The main leftwing opposition SYRIZA, which opposes the terms of Greece’s bailouts, is currently leading in polls.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday December 15, 2012 (17:53)  
Greece, creditors seek breakthrough as clock runs down
Coast Guard officials linked to migrant traffickers
Civil aviation union cancels action on minister’s pledge
4.2-magnitude quake strikes off Crete
Greek credit contraction amounted to 2.4 pct in April
Credit expansion remained in negative territory last month as it contracted by 2.4 percent in April, according to data released on Friday by the Bank of Greece. In March the decline had come...
Export-oriented firms benefit from euro rate
The favorable shift in the exchange rate of the euro against the US dollar has led to the creation of two categories among Greek listed companies, as those who export their products to dolla...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos conquers PAOK through Tavlaridis goal
A Stathis Tavlaridis goal has brought Panathinaikos to practically within one point from clinching a spot in next season’s Champions League qualifiers, as the Greens made it three out of thr...
SOCCER
AEK Athens returns to top league after financial collapse
Greek club AEK Athens has just returned to the country's top soccer league, two years after financial collapse sent it to a lower league. One of the country's largest clubs, AEK sealed its s...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Zenobia, Barbara, Christine and the general’s daughter
ATHENS – Lovely Palmyra has fallen to the zombie horde and its people are being slaughtered as the ancient city awaits its fate. It is Friday, May 22, 2015, and from my window I see the end-...
INTERVIEW
The eurozone’s ‘ambiguous’ architecture
“That’s not something you’re supposed to say in public, right?” In his humble way, Thomas Sargent, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, tries to avoid the question posed to him by Kathimerini re...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek credit contraction amounted to 2.4 pct in April
2. Export-oriented firms benefit from euro rate
3. VAT hike would put several Athens hotels at risk
4. ATHEX: May ends with a rise of 0.3 pct
5. Greece, creditors seek breakthrough as clock runs down
6. Coast Guard officials linked to migrant traffickers
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece creditors say no deal near as G-7 frustration vented
2. Only Greece can end its miserable 'Groundhog Day'
3. Next Greek aid program isn’t on table yet, says Moscovici
4. 12 Russians injured in lightning strike at ruins on Crete
5. Some blame EU Commission for Greek obstinacy in debt talks
6. The eurozone’s ‘ambiguous’ architecture
Today
This Week
1. Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
2. Some 300 mln left banks on Tuesday
3. Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
4. No more 'quick and dirty' fixes for Greece
5. Romantic notions meet reality
6. Tsipras faces down radicals within SYRIZA over terms of deal
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.