OPINION

State needs to change, not taxes

Prime Minister George Papandreou said yesterday that citizens should not view the imposition of more taxes as another slap in the face but, rather, as an act of solidarity. Had he been talking about some other country, one in Northern Europe perhaps, where the revenues from taxes go toward helping the more needy members of society, he would have been right. As things stand, however, taxes in Greece go toward propping up a wasteful and corrupt state apparatus. Citizens would surely have no problem paying higher taxes if they could see the benefits, if they saw a crackdown on tax evasion and an improvement in state services. Right now all they see are their contributions getting bigger as the state continues to waste and fails to make the changes necessary in crucial areas. Under these circumstances, of course Greeks see taxes as a slap in the face and they will continue to do so until things change and they feel that the state is on their side and their money is being well spent.