Only four out of more than one hundred offshore companies controlled by Greek citizens are legally registered with the country’s tax authorities, a study by a global reporters’ network has found.
The review, which was conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), showed that Greek officials have no knowledge whether the companies’ owners – “a surprising cross-section of Greek society” – declared any assets held by these entities or paid taxes on them.
Following the publication of ICIJ’s findings, Greece’s finance ministry said it would examine the data to determine if any laws had been broken.
Two of the offshore firms listed by the ICIJ were allegedly used to purchase and refurbish the legendary Chrisina O yacht, once owned by the Onassis family.
The report also mentioned “a defense contractor working for the government and to top Greek executives who made a fortune on bonds sales.”
Fighting rampant tax evasion has been at the heart of Greek efforts to shore up public finances. EU officials believe the country could generate budget revenues amounting to 5 percent of national output annually if it reforms tax collection and clamps down on tax cheats.