OPINION

Good citizens don’t tolerate tax theft

Many of the demands submitted to the prime minister by representatives of the business community are justified. But the national economy minister was even more justified when he noted that many members of their associations have distinguished themselves at the national sport of tax theft, which we in Greece often confuse with tax evasion. When merchants do not supply receipts, they plunder our shared coffers twice over. They evade tax, as they are taxed for a lower income, and they also engage in tax theft, as they hold back value-added tax, which consumers pay and is destined for public coffers. Merchants and all other social classes in Greece must realize that the state may owe them a lot but that citizens also owe a few things to the state. One of those things, and a very important one, is tax. It is unreasonable for someone to insist the meeting of justifiable demands while at the same time refusing to meet his own basic obligations. This is because the satisfaction of the demands presupposes the fulfillment of the obligations. If nobody pays taxes, the state cannot support anybody. US President John F. Kennedy once said, «Don’t ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.» In Greece, unfortunately, we ask the first and dodge the second. When it comes to tax, there is no question about it. Everyone must pay their share.