Ministry names major tax debtors

The Finance Ministry on Thursday published a list of 6,000 companies that owe the state more than 150,000 euros each in outstanding taxes in a fresh bid to crack down on widespread tax evasion that has helped bring the economy to its current dire state.

The list, published on the website of the General Secretariat for Information Systems, is topped by the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE), which is said to owe the state 1.26 billion euros.

Collectively the 6,000 firms owe some 30 billion euros -out of the total 42 billion euros that is due to tax authorities.

The list includes 13 professional soccer clubs – including top-flight clubs AEK and PAOK, with debts of 103.2 million euros and 68.4 million euros respectively – as well as several basketball teams and the state-run Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA), which is said to owe 163.5 million euros.

?The publication of this data will significantly boost efforts aimed at collecting revenue and consolidating trust between the ministry and taxpayers by promoting transparent procedures,? the ministry said in a statement.

The statement added that the list did not include the names of companies that have already started paying their outstanding debts in installments. It said that any errors in the list would be immediately amended.

The ministry further added that it would publish another list of individuals who owe large sums in outstanding taxes once the process has been cleared by the Hellenic Data Protection Authority.

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