Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis has responded to accusations leveled against the government about overtaxing the Greeks, claiming that Greece defaulted because of undertaxation in previous years, while also placing the biggest part of the blame for the crisis on the private sector.
Addressing the annual The Greek Economy conference of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Dragasakis responded to Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) President Theodoros Fessas, who had taken the stand before him to speak of bureaucracy and excessive taxation.
“How can we emerge from the crisis with a business community that takes its profits abroad, that does not invest in training, in research and technology? I do not wish to reverse the questions Mr Fessas posed, since overtaxation is a fact, but Greece mainly went bankrupt because there was considerable undertaxation,” claimed the deputy premier.
In a further effort to defend the government’s decisions, Dragasakis went on to say that the government is “promoting – with everyone’s cooperation – a new pattern for Greek production, with regional specialization. The country needs transformation and revitalization, with innovation and new business ethics, and the government aims at a transformation that will respond to the needs of the many and not the few.”
Dragasakis also complained that while Greece is a naval force, shipbuilding and repairs continue to take place abroad. His statement is being seen as paving the way for announcements regarding the possible concession of Greek shipyards.
He also argued that the reason Greece “is facing positive prospects, is because the government has resisted even tougher cuts.”