Tax overhaul set to be unveiled
Greece’s new tax regulations will be announced on Tuesday, it was decided at a Cabinet meeting yesterday, during which Prime Minister George Papandreou described the reforms being carried out by his government as «radical.» Ministers were given the chance to state their final opinions on the new tax code, which comes as part of the austerity measures the government has adopted to slash the public deficit and get its finances in order. «The new law will be a radical reform that will strike at tax evasion and which will lay the grounds for fair taxation,» said Papandreou, highlighting the fact that, under the new rules, businesses such as gas stations and kiosks which did not issue receipts before will soon have to do so. The prime minister said that it was every Greek’s «patriotic duty» to abide by the new tax regulations, even though gas station owners and taxi drivers, among others, have vented their anger at having to use cash registers. However, Papandreou insisted that one of the reasons Greece is in such an economic mess is that too many people have avoided paying their taxes in the past. «The rage of those that feel they have been paying for others who dodge their taxes is totally justified,» he said. Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou said that when drawing up the new tax regulations, his team took into account more than 15,000 suggestions that were submitted by citizens during a period of public consultation. «Never before in such a short period of time has a taxation law been put together that overhauls things in our country with an aim toward making the system fairer and to clamp down on tax evasion,» said Papaconstantinou.