The Finance Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Norbert Walter-Borjans has revealed that he offered his assistance in tax-related matters to the government of Antonis Samaras in 2012, but he was turned down.
According to the German official he made repeated offers to the New Democracy-led government, particularly in tax administration and audits. In an interview for the Athens-Macedonia News Agency, he adds that the government at the time had not interest in pursuing such a cooperation, which was supported by Germany’s Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.
Nevertheless, he argued, it is up to each government to decide whether to accept or reject the offer for assistance. When asked about his cooperation with the current government, Mr. Borjans commented that he was pleased. He also expressed the hope that the list of suspected tax evaders that he passed on to Greek authorities will fair better than the ‘Lagarde list’.