COMMENT

Tackling the fuel crooks

The Greek government is eager to reduce the tax on heating fuel which it raised to the level of that on fuel for vehicles a few years ago, yet it has really done nothing of substance to crack down on the illegal fuel trade, which is what this measure was meant to curtail – to little avail.

Heating oil is being taxed at the same rate as gas because this was thought to be the only way to discourage the practice of selling heating oil as fuel for vehicles, a widespread practice that had grown out of control.

If the government does manage to convince the country’s international lenders to agree to a reduction in the tax, we are certain to see the phenomenon not only returning to previous levels but growing even bigger.

The main question really is whether the government feels unable to take on the powerful crooked traders or whether it is reluctant to do so.

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