BUSINESS

Red tape has gone digital but keeps growing

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Taxation, Economy

While Greece has managed to digitalize much of its bureaucracy, this has not reduced red tape or made it cheaper. Indeed, Greeks pay indirect taxes amounting to hundreds of millions of euros for financial as well as personal transactions, hidden in the form of an administrative fee, known as “paravolo” in Greek.

These fees may be paid online on the e-paravolo website (on the Finance Ministry’s www.gsis.gr platform), but their number has increased to more than 3,700. They appear to have grown by about 200 since the last time Kathimerini investigated the issue, about a year-and-a-half ago.

These stamps, imposed on a wide variety of actions and transactions, bring some 250 million euros to state coffers per year. If you add various other duties and special taxes invented by the Greek state machine, takings soar to billions of euros.

For instance, there are as many as 250 different stamp duties on agricultural produce and standardization, ranging from 500 to 1,000 euros each. There is a stamp certifying knowledge of the proper use of pesticides, another for cotton producers registered on the list of traditional growers, etc.

Citizens are almost always tapped for cash when dealing with most ministries, which impose hundreds of different fees, while even the connection of an alarm system requires a stamp of 460 euros.

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