OPINION

Hostage to semi-legal behavior

Extensive flouting of the law regarding the so-called «imiypaithrioi,» or areas of homes that were originally planned as balconies but have since been turned into enclosed rooms, and the blight of illegal construction in general around the country, have created a social as well as a housing problem. However, the government’s measures to «solve» the problem, as it were, as well as the settlement of open tax cases, causes twice the damage while providing only minimal benefits. Such steps, on the one hand, convey the impression that it is only fools who stick to the legal procedures and who meet their actual responsibilities. At the same time, citizens are presented with few incentives to fulfil their outstanding obligations. As a result, the state succeeds neither in collecting the requisite tax revenues nor in averting any future wrongdoing. With the continuation of such practices in Greece, both the country and its citizens remain hostage to a state of semi-legality.