Prosecutors to get support for tax evasion crackdown

Prosecutors to get support for tax evasion crackdown

Greece’s Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis and Alternate Justice Minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos on Tuesday agreed to boost the efforts of financial prosecutors to crack down on high-level tax evasion.

The additional staff is aimed at bolstering prosecutors’ attempts to investigate thousands of potential tax-dodgers from a series of lists. The latest list was given to Greek authorities last month by Germany’s western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It includes more than 10,000 data sets on Swiss bank accounts held by Greeks.

Just a few weeks after receiving the list, prosecutors raided the offices of UBS in Athens and collected the bank details of 200 depositors.

According to sources, the finance minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, Norbert Walter-Borjans, is due in Athens on January 16, when he and his Greek counterpart Euclid Tsakalotos are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding.

During a meeting with Alexiadis and Papangelopoulos on Tuesday, the financial prosecutors repeated their demand for another 300 tax inspectors and IT experts to boost their efforts to curb tax evasion.

Their work has also been facilitated by a legislative amendment that was passed into law last week, which permits the use of evidence that has been illicitly obtained to crack down on criminal offenses.