Troika Doubts Greek FinMin Forecasts on Revenues Targets From Combating Tax Evasion

Posted by in Economy

Greece’s lenders, the Troika, apparently cast doubts on revenue targets The Greek government forecasts to collect from fighting tax evasion. The case refers to Greek government forecasts about revenues from combating tax evasion and for the years 2013-2016. Greek Finance Ministry predicted to collect 3.8 billion euro. The Troika, however,  “sees” only 1.9 billion euro revenues and dismisses the Greek targets as “over optimistic”.

The Troika’s estimations came to the limelight, after several e-mails containing some strategic positions of the Greek Finance Ministry were leaked and posted on the blog section of a Greek news sportal.  Last Friday, a senior finance official,  head of a department at the General Accounting Office was arrested on suspicion of leaking the confidential e-mails sent to him by alternate finance minister Christos Staikouras. The man was granted conditional release,  yesterday, Wednesday.

Leaked e-mails on Greek Tax evasion embarrass Greek Government

A photo of the document, which includes a chain of emails dated July 24 and 25 on the country’s struggle to raise money from fighting tax evasion, was published on a Greek blog site.

It includes an email from one finance ministry official saying revenues from battling evasion would be 800 million euros less in 2013 than projected in a mid-term plan.

Another official from the fiscal data department complains that a target of raising 3.8 billion euros from the plan over 2013-2016 could not be justified, given a lack of numbers recorded in 2011 and no forecasts available for 2014-2016.

“With this data, the General Accounting Office cannot argue during the technical meeting with the Troika on Thursday that we must include, even just symbolically, an amount for 2013 (i.e. 300 million),” the finance ministry official writes in the email to Greece’s general secretary of fiscal policy, in which Liosis and other officials are copied.

“Without further documentation, it will also be difficult to convince them on a political level to accept a serious amount and the gap for 2013 widens by 924 million (and for 2014, by 651 million).”

(Further reading Reuters/ or in Greek )

Greek media estimate that the Troika may demand additional spending cuts of 1.9 billion euro, raising the total spending cuts amount from 11.5 billion euro to 12-12.5 billion euro.