We have finally become the Denmark of the South, not as regards social benefits and the protection of labour rights, of course, but in terms of taxation.
Based on data released by the Independent Public Revenue Authority (AADE), every month there is an increase in the number of our fellow citizens who are unable to meet their crushing tax obligations.
One in two Greeks finds it impossible to pay their taxes. Over four million citizens are on “red alert”, scampering to save their homes or remaining bank deposits from seizure by the taxman.
Indicative of the tragic situation experienced by many citizens is the fact that AADE has set in motion procedures to confiscate the assets of slightly over one million taxpayers, and the seizures are increasing daily.
The situation is dramatic, and with shallow economic growth, it is not about to change any time soon. The government boasts that it has managed to create super primary surpluses, but no one considers how this taxation rampage can continue.
Public investment is constantly being cut, and private investment is paltry and slow in coming.
Unemployment remains very high, while wages over recent years have been reduced by the largest percentage in all of Europe.
National revenues are essentially not increasing. The former middle class has almost become extinct. Its income is constantly being reduced, even as the taxation rate remains among the highest in Europe.
The much touted change in the model of production remains a dead letter, while the advertised national reconstruction plan that is supposed to replace the bailout programme is nowhere to be seen.
In short, the government has managed to balance public finances, but at the same time, with over-taxation, it has ravaged society.
This formula, as the constant increase in overdue taxes demonstrates, has an expiration date, because citizens – workers and professionals – can see no prospects for themselves, and the country cannot hope for better days.