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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Real Face(s) Of Greece'sTax Evasion

A story bordering on the surreal from Greek newspaper Ta Nea yesterday. Apparently, the Greek financial police (SDOE) are investigating 77 cases of 'parsimonious' Greeks who have managed to set aside bank deposits worth a mind-boggling total of €1.9 billion, despite their individual income tax-returns not always mirroring a situation of well-being. The list includes 36 doctors and three former hospital directors.

Here are some examples - they do really speak for themselves:

  • A farmer who between 2001 and 2010 declared an annual income ranging between €1,608 and €6,774 (except for 2006 and 2007, when he submitted an income higher than €74,000) made deposits amounting to €10.6 million over the same period;

  • A hair-dresser only submitted a tax-return for 2009, declaring an income of €35,435, while having deposited €423,531 between 2007 and 2010;

  • An astrologist did not submit any tax-returns in 2007-2009, yet made deposits worth €2.19 million over the same period;

  • A doctor only submitted tax-returns in 2005 and 2006, with a total declared income for both years of €172,014, but made bank deposits amounting to €5.7 million between 2005 and 2010.

This is seriously crazy stuff, which throws up a whole range of questions. For example, what's up with Greece and hairdressers? And how much of the €10.6 million pocketed by the super-wealthy farmer actually came from EU farm subsidies?

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