OPINION

Free riders must be penalized

Greece?s largest social security fund, IKA, yesterday published a list of its biggest debtors, which is something it does frequently in order to highlight the magnitude of the problem with social security dodgers.

The latest list, like almost all those that have preceded it, includes the names of businesses that are notorious for having operated for years in a way that is not just illegal but also extremely provocative given the current economic situation. But it is up to the state to do its job and use every means available to it to punish these lawbreakers if it is either incapable of collecting the money or these businesses are unable to pay their debts.

If it does not do something to hold them accountable for dodging their obligations for years, the authorities whose duty it is to collect such dues will represent one more reason why people are distrustful of the state.

Furthermore, the owners of businesses that are prompt with their payments and obligations will be quite justified in feeling like fools, and may very well take a stand by refusing to pay their dues to the state.