Gov’t appeals to citizens over charges for third parties

By Dimitra Manifava

The government has resorted to a rare appeal to citizens in a bid to establish whether any third-party charges have been imposed on them that the state may not be aware of, as demanded in the bailout agreement Greece signed with its creditors in an attempt to reduce such levies to a minimum.

The Development Ministry launched an online platform on Tuesday inviting citizens to submit (even anonymously if they so wish) the details of any levies to third parties they have been charged while paying for services or products. They are also invited to express their views on the issue in a form of public consultation. This represents one of the necessary prior actions for June’s bailout sub-tranche of 1 billion euros.

The Finance Ministry has already received a detailed list of charges in favor of third parties from other ministries, but the country’s creditors have reportedly insisted on the creation of the electronic platform. That was because of concerns whether all ministries would be able to record all existing third-party levies – as a great deal of them are in favor of various unions – and because such a platform would ease the abolition of the charges into the public conscience.