Greece’s tax collectors were told over the weekend that they would have to do a much better job this year at gathering overdue taxes. How much better? Almost 200 percent.
According to Skai TV, some 700 million euros was collected in 2011 by chasing down taxpayers that had run up debts. This year, inspectors will have to collect 2 billion euros as Greece tries to meet even tougher fiscal targets amid a deepening recession.
Preliminary figures showed that tax revenues were already 1 billion euros short of the government’s target in January alone, with VAT receipts showing a considerable drop. As consumption decreases, so do revenues, which makes it even more vital that any existing debts are settled.
Illustration by Manos Symeonakis
There are many things for which Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos will be called a liar over the weeks to come, but something he said in his muddled news conference on Tuesday rang true: It was when he explained how he found it “impossible to explain” to those outside Greece the opposition parties’ stances on how the country should tackle its economic crisis.
As flawed and damaging as the eurozone and International Monetary Fund-inspired austerity program has been, the alternatives being suggested by the opposition have been even more confused and unrealistic. The prime target for Venizelos’s comment was PASOK’s main political rival, New Democracy, which has elbowed even the Communist Party out of the way in its effort to be in the front line of those opposing the current formula for overcoming Greece’s massive debt problem.
Posted in Economy, Greece, Greek politics
Tagged Antonis Samaras, Greece, Greece tax, Greek crisis, Greek debt crisis, IMF, New Democracy, PASOK, Troika