Banks are proposing that the government take a series of measures to combat tax evasion, which are centered around reducing the use of cash in favor of increasing online transactions. The proposal that stands out concerns the taxing of cash withdrawals.
As bank executives say, cash is easily channeled to the so-called shadow economy, so imposing a tax on withdrawals would drastically reduce transactions in cash and therefore the illegal economy as well.
Lenders are also asking for the compulsory use of cards or other online means for all transactions concerning professions where there are strong indications of tax evasion or cash is used as the main means of payment.
Credit and debit cards as well as the new technologies that allow for contactless transactions, such as cell phone apps, should be possible to use even for the smallest transactions, from the purchase of a newspaper to buying a bus ticket, banks argue.
The illegal economy in Greece is estimated at some 40 billion euros every year, with state coffers losing out on tax revenues of around 15 billion euros per annum.