Tuesday October 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Government planning council of ‘wise men’ to tackle tax evasion

The government is planning the creation of a “committee of wise men” to crack down on widespread tax evasion, which continues to thwart Greece’s efforts to emerge from its debt crisis. The former head of National Bank, Vassilis Rapanos, is slated to head the new body, Kathimerini understands.

According to sources, Rapanos, who nearly assumed the post of Finance Minister in June before health problems prompted him to bow out, has been offered the post but has yet to give his response. The aim of the committee would be to overhaul the country’s tax administration to more efficiently target tax evasion.

Both Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras stressed the importance of curbing tax evasion on the sidelines of a European Union leaders’ summit in Brussels at the end of last week where a decision was made to approve the release of some 50 billion euros in rescue loans to Greece. At the same time, ministry officials in Athens submitted to Parliament the first of two tax bills aimed at boosting much-needed revenue. The second bill, to be unveiled early next year, is expected to bring a more radical overhaul of the tax system as well as substituting suspended sentences for large-scale tax evaders with immediate jail terms. Addressing a health sector conference on Saturday, Stournaras described this second bill as “the heavy tax law,” adding that despite the progress made by authorities so far “the road ahead remains long and steep.”

Representatives of Greece’s troika of foreign creditors – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – are reportedly aware that there is little scope for further tax hikes on austerity-weary Greeks and have emphasized the importance of the authorities finally launching an effective crackdown on tax evasion. According to sources, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Stournaras in Brussels “do something about tax administration reform and tax evasion.”

In an interview with Kathimerini, the European Commissioner overseeing taxation issues, Algirdas Semeta, said Greece could boost annual revenue by around 10 billion euros if it limited tax evasion to the EU average.

Samaras, whose shaky coalition government appears to have been buoyed by last week’s loan decision, is now turning his attention to tackling two of the fundamental sources of the crisis – tax evasion and a lack of growth. He is expected to discuss both issues, along with efforts to push forward stalled privatizations, in scheduled talks tomorrow with his coalition partners, Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK and Fotis Kouvelis of Democratic Left.

The provisions of a tax bill that was submitted to Parliament last week and is expected to be voted on after the holidays will also be on the agenda of talks, as well as general political upheaval. There are fears that support for the parties in the coalition will plummet in opinion polls early next year when fresh cuts to salaries and pensions are felt. The main leftwing opposition SYRIZA, which opposes the terms of Greece’s bailouts, is currently leading in polls.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday December 15, 2012 (17:53)  
Wage dispute hurts gov’t unity before troika return
Most Britons want to see Parthenon Marbles back in Athens, poll shows
Turkey tests Cyprus after research vessel encroaches on offshore gas area
Doctors’ disiplinary panel needs surgery
ANALYSIS
At loggerheads over role of the IMF
The Greek coalition government’s plan for a clean exit from the European Union / International Monetary Fund program was dealt a deadly blow by the markets last week on the back of rising po...
Hong Kong telecom group buys out Greek start-up
Hong Kong-based telecommunications multinational PCCW Global has announced it has bought out Greek start-up Crypteia Networks, aiming to incorporate its products into the group’s portfolio. ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulos´s move to Olympiakos
Olympiakos is once again in the lookout for a new coach after the refusal of PAOK to release Soulis Markopoulos, while Panathinaikos defeated Kolossos on Rhodes on Monday to become the only ...
BASKETBALL
Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach
Nea Kifissia recorded the biggest win of its short history in the top flight defeating Olympiakos 68-67 on Sunday, in a Basket League weekend marred by the abandonment of the Thessaloniki de...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Stop moaning and get in the game
There are so many people who love spending their days talking about the crisis and proclaiming that they know exactly what needs to be done to solve the country’s problems. Some of them obvi...
EDITORIAL
Exorcising the ghosts
Developments last week held in store an uncomfortably realistic understanding of the risks engulfing the country. The massive sell-off in Greece’s stock and bond markets was a strong shock. ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulos´s move to Olympiakos
2. At loggerheads over role of the IMF
3. Hong Kong telecom group buys out Greek start-up
4. Local tourism could see more arrivals, investments next year
5. Troika exerts pressure using return date
6. Wage dispute hurts gov’t unity before troika return
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
2. Bakers encircle Thessaloniki's White Tower with giant 'koulouri'
3. Turkish vessel enters Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone
4. European leaders pivot back to debt crisis after wake-up call
5. Hardouvelis does not see 'big surprises' in ECB stress tests
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Greece to contribute 1 mln towards Gaza reconstruction
3. Greece nearing bailout exit, says gov't spokesperson after IMF talks
4. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
5. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
6. GPO poll gives SYRIZA clear lead over New Democracy
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.