Non-pro tax agent plan stirs reaction

A plan by the government to pay non-professionals, including students and tourists, an hourly fee to work as undercover tax agents in order to boost a crackdown on evasion prompted reactions from the political opposition and from Greek tax inspectors over the weekend.

“I believe Varoufakis must have sought advice from lawyers and experts in constitutional law,” Revekka Basbatzidou, the head of the Greek union of tax inspectors, told Mega television on Saturday, referring to Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. “We can do our job, as long as inspections are targeted,” she said in comments that fuelled speculation about the stance of tax inspectors on the controversial proposal.

Commenting on the scheme, Administrative Reform Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, who is an expert in constitutional law, said the government would seek approval from the Hellenic Data Protection Authority but maintained that the measure does not violate the Constitution as it seeks to protect citizens.

The proposal prompted a vehement reaction from the opposition with conservative New Democracy describing the government as “dangerous” and “ridiculous.” Government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis responded by saying that the previous administration should remain silent on tax evasion, “having transferred the tax burden to the usual beasts of burden.”

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.