EC tells Greece to step up tax evasion drive; says no troika until after elections

The European Commission’s spokesperson for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Amadeu Altafaj said on Tuesday that Greece needs to do more to clamp down on tax evasion, stressing that reform to the tax system is one of the most fundamental components of the country’s bailout agreement with its creditors — the EC, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, collectively known as the troika.

Altafaj also confirmed reports that the troika will not be sending its inspectors to Athens before a government emerges from the June 17 elections for the regular quarterly review of the country’s progress.

«Clearly the troika will have to go in the second half of next month to Athens and it will have to conduct discussions at every level, but in particular at the governmental level,» said Altafaj.

On Greece’s efforts to combat tax evasion, which caretaker Finance Minister Giorgos Zanias stepped up this week with visits to Athens’s biggest tax offices to press for inspections, Altafaj said «we think that more can be done but so do the Greek authorities by the way.»