Street traders under scrutiny

Thessaloniki’s top prosecutor, Vassilis Floridis, yesterday ordered the police to seize all the Chinese-made products sold by street traders because of alleged evidence to suggest they enjoy an unfair advantage over other goods. Floridis gave the order after a meeting with representatives of the former financial crimes squad, customs officers, police and local officials where the participants discussed measures to tackle tax evasion and unfair competition. Floridis was informed that the Chinese products sold on the city’s streets often arrive in Greece in such a manner that taxes are avoided. One way that this happens, according to authorities, is for invoices that accompany the products from China to show a smaller amount than the true value of the goods so less tax is paid. If the goods arrive in Greece via another EU country, then documentation is produced to suggest taxes have already been paid, which authorities say is not always the case. Floridis also asked for tighter checks at customs.