Do we like tax evasion?

Greek Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis presents the new tax bill at a press conference at the Finance Ministry in Athens, Greece, on October 31, 2023. [Dimitris Mitsakos/Intime News]

Kostis Hatzidakis had made the war against tax evasion a priority before taking over the Ministry of Finance. It wouldn't be easy: There are a myriad of "clients" of the political system who are affected. Furthermore, if a war begins against the tax evasion of those who are easy to target, you never know where it might end up. It would also necessitate a multi-prong approach: We have the highest tax evasion in Europe, a shadow economy equal to 21% of GDP - against 17.8% on average in the 27 member-states.

The Bank of Greece roughly estimates that 40 billion euros is not declared. This sum cannot be collected with one law, one article, one action, all at once. Finally, while reactions to any new measures are manifested immediately (and have already started), the undeclared incomes would arrive in the state coffers very slowly.

For years now, tax evasion has ceased to...

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