Saturday August 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o 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)  
Traveling on public transport in Athens gets cheaper
Push made for cuts in education as merger scheme fails
Gov’t aims to curb measures, secure loans, allow tax relief
DIMAR chief Kouvelis hints about presidency
Disappearing inflation heightens Draghi concerns
Eurozone inflation dropped to a fresh five-year low in August, data showed on Friday, something likely to concern the European Central Bank but not force it into immediate policy action. Con...
Ministry launches work experience program for unemployed graduates
The Labor, Social Security and Welfare Ministry is preparing to launch a work experience program for unemployed youths aged between 18 and 24, through private sector jobs, as part of a new a...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Tough draw for Greek sides in Europe League Greek stage
Following Thursday night’s high, when all three Greek teams competing in the Europa League made it into the group stage of the competition, a harsh reality struck Friday as they found out wh...
JUDO
Greek judoka Iliadis triples up as Aguiar stuns Tcheumeo
Greek star Ilias Iliadis claimed his third world title in the under-90kg category in Chelyabinsk on Friday as Brazilian Mayra Aguiar and Colombian Yuri Alvear won gold in the women’s under-7...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Keeping an eye on international developments
The Ukrainian crisis may herald the start of a second Cold War, while there is no shortage of analysts comparing the current international climate to that of 1914 in the runup to World War I...
EDITORIAL
A few good men
It gives us a great deal of hope that we have a new batch of mayors and regional authorities, as well as university rectors who represent the voice of reason and prudence and are unafraid to...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Traveling on public transport in Athens gets cheaper
2. Push made for cuts in education as merger scheme fails
3. Gov’t aims to curb measures, secure loans, allow tax relief
4. DIMAR chief Kouvelis hints about presidency
5. French expert says Crete crocodile in good health, aged 4-7
6. Tensions mar regional ity swearing-in ceremony
more news
Today
This Week
1. Keeping an eye on international developments
2. Disappearing inflation heightens Draghi concerns
3. A few good men
4. Two men drown off Crete coast in strong tides
5. Push made for cuts in education as merger scheme fails
6. Traveling on public transport in Athens gets cheaper
Today
This Week
1. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
2. Purification rituals
3. The battle against progress
4. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
5. Athens finalizes Paris talks goals
6. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.