Main opposition New Democracy’s shadow finance minister, Christos Staikouras, is calling the government to task over its record on combating tax evasion.
“The government, which was pledging to bring in, over six months, revenues of three billion euros from the combating of tax evasion, ended up collecting less than 100 million euros in three years,” Staikouras said.
“Only after six months had passed did the deputy finance minister respond to a parliamentary question regarding combating tax evasion and contraband trade, confirming that the results that the government achieved are almost nothing,” Staikouras said.
The conservative MP charges that, since 2013, only 45.3 million euros has been collected from Greeks on the so-called Lagarde list of potential tax evaders, which then French finance minister and now IMF chief Christine Lagarde forwarded to the Greek government.
The review of the similar “Borjans list”, which the government had touted as a source of revenue, produced only 445,000 euros in revenue, he said.
Audit of wires abroad
Staikouras said that before Syriza took power, up until January, 2015, 1,478 reviews of bank wires abroad were conducted, whereas from January, 2016, until August, 2017, only 44 audits of wires were conducted.
It should be noted, however, that after the summer of 2015, when capital controls were imposed, draconian restriction on wiring money abroad have been imposed.
Staikouras said that in 2013-2014, when New Democracy PM Antonis Samaras was in power, 27 million euros in fines were received from the contraband fuel trade, but that was reduced to 8.1 million euros in 2015-2016, under Syriza, and to only 3.1 million euros between January and September, 2017.
“It becomes apparent that three years after coming to power, Syriza became a champion in tax forays, but a failure in combating tax evasion,” Staikouras said.