OPINION

Embarrassing failure

Fuel smuggling has been a problem in Greece for years. Successive political administrations have either failed to clamp down on the illegal trade that has deprived state coffers of vital funding or they have actively avoided doing so.

And it is the innocent taxpayer that always ends up paying the price.

Last year the conservative-led government decided to tackle the problem by raising the tax on heating oil by up to 50 percent so that it would be the same as that for vehicle fuel.

Reports however now suggest that the much-hyped central electronic system, which was set up to supposedly monitor inflows and outflows at the country’s gas stations, is simply not working for lack of the necessary equipment – a real shame indeed.

It would be interesting to know if this latest failure is the result of foot-dragging or by design. The authorities need to come up with a convincing response.