OPINION

A many-headed monster

It is a well-known fact that one of cash-strapped Greece’s biggest challenges is to reduce the high levels of tax evasion and bring more money into the public coffers.

At the same time, anyone who has ever held a position of responsiblity with regard to tax evasion in this country has quickly come to realize that it is something of a hydra, which will take much more than a single effort to well and truly put an end to.

This is not solely the result of the system’s lack of political willpower or the inefficiency of the state and corruption therein. It is also due to the large number of self-employed people and small businesses, as well as the embedded mentality which dictates that the state is the enemy and citizens should loot it as much as they like and go unpunished, free of any moral reservations.

An extreme yet typical example of this is the alleged tax evasion system developed by public servants at the store on the archaeological site of Knossos on Crete.