Thursday Jul 31, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o 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)  
Civil mobilization order issued in Jan 2013 lifted for public transport
Tax official, accountant caught bribing 80-year-old over business closure
Disgraced ex-hospital director arrested after armed altercation with son
Roma man shot dead in Thessaloniki had long criminal record, says police
Russia may restrict Greek fruit imports
Russia may impose new food import restrictions next week, reports said on Thursday, in what could be responses to new Western sanctions over Moscow's support of rebels in Ukraine. The countr...
Greek retail sales drop 3.8 pct y/y in May
Greek retail sales by volume fell 3.8 percent in May compared to the same month last year, after a downwardly revised 7.1 percent rise in April, statistics service ELSTAT said on Thursday. A...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Goalless draw at Liege puts Greens in driving seat
Panathinaikos got the upper hand in the battle for entry to the Champions League playoffs after snatching a goalless draw at Standard Liege on Wednesday. If anything, the Greek cup holders m...
SOCCER
Greek league recruits former referee Dallas
Former referee Hugh Dallas has been appointed as the head referee of the Greek Super League, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said in a statement on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Scot ear...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Summer turbulence
High summer temperatures appear to have messed with the reflexes of officials at the top echelons of Greece’s power-sharing administration. A sense of anxiety has gripped the political syste...
EDITORIAL
Capital upgrade
After years of financial troubles, the city of Athens is finally buzzing with tourists. Despite some encouraging figures however, the Greek capital has not quite managed to become a destinat...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Civil mobilization order issued in Jan 2013 lifted for public transport
2. Tax official, accountant caught bribing 80-year-old over business closure
3. Disgraced ex-hospital director arrested after armed altercation with son
4. Roma man shot dead in Thessaloniki had long criminal record, says police
5. Cyber Crime unit helps avert suicide of young man
6. Employee of firm tasked with destroying contraband caught stealing it
more news
Today
This Week
1. Motorists refusing to pay tolls on Corinth-Kalamata highway to be monitored
2. Euro flows reveal shift in sentiment as losses mount
3. EU puzzles over emergency funds for euro area bank crisis agency
4. Greece may ignore EU and lower energy costs for business, says minister
5. Only 5 percent of stores see brisker business during this year's summer sales
6. Fake psychic caught in Thessaloniki after gaining 35,000 from victim
Today
This Week
1. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
2. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
3. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
4. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
5. Front-line threats
6. Greece names fifth privatization agency chief in four years
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.