Reliable tax collection still elusive

After more than 10 months in power, the Socialist administration of George Papandreou still hasn’t seriously grappled with the problems that dog the country’s tax-collection mechanisms. A number of major tax offices are still waiting to see the appointment of new directors, while unresolved cases of tax dodging continue to pile up in the offices of the responsible authorities. It’s hard to understand why the prime minister has yet to designate a deputy minister to oversee state revenue collection. The situation cannot be remedied with weekly fireworks about evidence emerging via cross-checks or with the limited number of confiscations as a result of outstanding debts to the state. It’s time the Finance Ministry hired some serious financial consultants, received technical support from the European Union and International Monetary Fund officials and took all the necessary steps that will make the state more reliable and efficient in this extremely crucial aspect of government.