OPINION

On tax collection, corruption

Greek tax collectors

A friend once said that if Greece were to hire a top-notch forensic auditing firm and pay them 1% of the funds found (although now that couldn’t be done but they would need to pay them something), they would find the «missing» funds promptly.

Changing Greece’s mentality is going to take a long time and, unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of time anymore.

Harolynne Bobis

Northern Europe gave Greece several years

Give us a chance, say many Greeks. However, the Greeks have been given 2-3 years already and they did not show the ability or willingness to change. Almost nothing which was agreed that Greece should do was done. Of the 50-billion-euro privatization, only 1 billion was done!

They just waited for more money to come from the North.

And now they want more time.

Do the Greeks really think that they have proven to be trustworthy?

Aleksios Kouris

The writing is on the wall

For two years I have been following the events that have led up to Greece’s present sad state. I have read numerous letters to the editor, some with enlightened and logical approaches to remedy the current financial situation, but if you understand the Greek mind-set you must know that there is no one who will step up to the plate to save the country nor will the population revolt against the rotten government and the people who represent it. The writing is on the wall, Greece will be kicked out of the EU, civil unrest will prevail and eventually the military will have to come in with a big stick to stop the country from imploding. Who in their right mind would want to waste time on helping a country that cannot or will not help itself?

Aristea Kampitsis

Montreal, Canada

The Greek dilemma

We all know the problems, we all know the causes, mainly the inept and corrupt political system. We also know that the majority of Greeks are hardworking and do pay their taxes etc. We all know too that we are worse off now than we were two years ago before the Troika’s ‘help’ and that we are all getting poorer.

Mr Papachelas does not give any answers to the problem, nor does he expand on the report mentioned at the beginning of his article. He merely reiterates what has been said over and over again.

It is time for someone to try to write an article to really address the problems, and to help to inform the populace of what we can do to help ourselves.

Ann Hilary Diamantopoulou

Patras, Greece

A taxing issue for Greece

Interesting report but lacking many details. I wish Kathimerini would have looked into how the good people at SDOE undermined the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) advisers the US Government sent to Greece in the 1990s… but it seems nobody in Greece wants to admit that the IRS Tax Advisory Program here in the 96-99 period was wasted. We had three tax policy advisers deployed (the so-called IRS «Tax Rambos”) for three years (that’s nine person-years), based in the SDOE offices in the now-burned-out Amalias Avenue building. I was a US Embassy economic officer in those years, and the IRS advisers would visit us routinely when checking for their mail, etc at the Embassy. They believed the SDOE leadership at the time was dead-set against applying any of their recommendations, and reported hostility at all levels except then-Minister of National Economy Papantoniou, who welcomed them. The Greek government actually paid most of the program’s costs, so I am happy at least one senior official wanted them here. A cynic would say (and some did) that the main utility of the program was to enable Greek government officials to claim that any tax changes they made were a product of the «Tax Rambos.» I wish.

Alec Mally