Tax deal must be fair to all

The drive to collect back taxes by offering people with outstanding debts favorable repayment terms is an evil that has to be tolerated because of the alarming combination of the country’s dire finances and the immense shortcomings of the tax collection mechanism. However, the government needs to be extremely cautious in detailing exactly what the process entails. No one wants to see injustices committed nor illegal behavior rewarded. For example, it is ridiculous that, so far, the rules exempt healthy companies listed on the Athens Exchange from the tax settlement procedure as well as nonlisted companies with a turnover of over 20 million euros, while at the same time changing the criteria for exemption within the context of the general rule. Such measures inevitably raise suspicion that the entire process is there to let the cheats off lightly, while also enhancing an opinion that is already prevalent in Greek society: that the laws apply only to a few and to those without power.