Tax offices told to halt payments

The government ordered tax offices on Thursday to stop making any payments until next Monday in an effort to make its budget figures look better.

Following orders from the political leadership of the Finance Ministry, the general secretary for tax and customs affairs, Yiannis Kapeleris, sent a circular to tax authorities asking them not to pay any salaries or tax returns on Thursday and Friday, putting off all obligations until August 1 or later.

Ministry sources suggest that returns in the last days of every month amount to hundreds of millions of euros, which would make the revenues picture in the first seven months less positive than it was until Wednesday.