Offshore deal had few takers

A government offer to offshore companies to declare the real names of the owners of 2,500 pieces of real estate in Greece has come to nothing because, as Finance Ministry sources told Kathimerini, only a «handful» of companies accepted the deal. The 2,500 properties are estimated to have a value of 1.2 billion euros. The government hoped to raise taxes of some 35 million annually. The finance minister proposed that offshore companies declare the names of property owners and pay a reduced transfer tax. Even the measure that offshore companies would only pay a special 3 percent tax on the property according to the value set by the Finance Ministry was not enough to make the owners come forward. On another issue, the financial crimes squad (SDOE) is to issue reports this week on some 20 offshore companies which allegedly overcharged for services and made millions of euros in EU funds.