Greece goes after tax evaders

Posted on

The Guardian has reported (and such is the significance I do not apologise for the length of the quotation) that:

With Athens's ambitious fiscal consolidation programme now harder to achieve, the hunt for tax evaders has become even more pressing.

For the first time, said Kapeleris, SDOE inspectors will be knocking at the door of the nation's well off - Greeks with huge homes, private pools, superyachts and secret bank accounts abroad.

"All those with inexplicable wealth," he added. "The doctors and lawyers, architects, construction companies, singers, civil engineers … people who have bank accounts with millions of euros, deposits that just don't add up."

Using Google Earth, the unit recently announced it had discovered some 50,000 "undeclared" swimming pools as well as tracing the owners of an estimated 2,500 state-of-the-art pleasure boats moored in marinas around the capital. Politicians with power cruisers costing as much as €1.5m, but which have never appeared on tax returns, have been outed.

Bank accounts abroad have also been targeted as Papandreou, in an unprecedented step, has taken the fight against tax evasion beyond Greek borders.

"We have opened bank accounts in Liechtenstein and plan to open others in Switzerland and the City of London," Kapeleris said. "We have discovered deposits that make the mind boggle, huge amounts that simply do not correspond to professed professional activity."

That is good for Greece. I hope the IMF is giving them the funding they need to pursue this activity.If only the UK Treasury would show the same initiative.

And I also hope that the UK Treasury and UK banks are providing them with all the cooperation they need.