Tax staff up on graft out on bail

Two tax officials who were accused last week of seeking a 20,000-euro bribe from a haidresser have been released from custody on bail, authorities said yesterday. A female tax office employee in central Athens and her male supervisor have been charged with blackmail and accepting bribes after the owner of the salon reported having been asked for a kickback to settle outstanding tax obligations. The woman, who was found in possession of 20,000 euros in marked notes, told police she was set up by the hairdresser because he owed large amounts of money to the tax office. Her supervisor has denied any involvement whatsoever in the incident after the Finance Ministry’s internal affairs department moved in to investigate the alleged crime. Bail for the female and male employee was set at 20,000 and 10,000 euros respectively. Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said last week the government will come down hard on corrupt officials and that the fight against corruption is ongoing.