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Greece’s tax evaders will go to prison even if they pay their debts

Oh dear. The logic has sailed away from this country. Greece’s economic team prepares a law according to which tax evaders will go to prison even if they pay their debts. The plan was revealed to RealNews weekly by deputy finance minister Giorgos Mavraganis.

At the same time, movable and immovable property and assets of those arrested for tax evasion, for money laundering and false income declarations about where they found the money (‘pothen esxes’) will be immediately confiscated. Even before the courts decide – which currently may need 10 years due to  bureaucracy.

On the issue of imprisonment it is not clear yet what will be the period behind bars and for which debt amount the debtor will be deprived of his free life. The economic team reportedly considers  prison terms for debts of 150,000 euro in Value Added Tax and 200,000 euro for other tax debts.

The law is expected to be submitted to the Parliament by September 15, 2013.

PS Wasn’t it much better when I was reported of deep blue sea, rocks and pine trees?

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11 comments

  1. I remember 18 months ago when you where scratching your head over how to make the ins and outs of the property tax understandable to us. Little did you know!…Don’t quit. We need you more then ever!!

  2. At last a sensible measure! Everyone knows that you, under the current laws, can postpone punishment almost indefinitely. And if you would be so stupid of losing your (political) protection you simply would pay the amount you owe and go on like always with cheating. If this would be implemented properly it would, for the first time, mean real change.
    Mind you, it’s a big IF! Because the other point is that the unofficial lawlessness will now be replaced by an official one in which you, if you don’t have the right connections would be in really big sh*t from day one, with almost no way to correction if ‘they’ were wrong…
    Yes, please, KTG, go back to reporting about deep blue sea, rocks and pine trees for just a little bit longer! 😉

  3. keeptalkinggreece

    thank you Charlotte. from too much scratching I’ll be 100% bold when crisis over.

  4. keeptalkinggreece

    so it is. if no conne you’re screwed.
    PS got a story on what Greek grannies and mommies chat about while swimming

  5. Perhaps I misread your article but please be mindful that the statement “tax evaders will go to prison even if they pay their debts” is not a matter of lacking logic but, instead, an absolute necessity. I know of no country where you can escape punishment simply by paying up evaded taxes. Paying up evaded taxes is not even part of the punishment. Punishment generally consists of a heavy fine and, when a certain amount of tax evasion has been exceeded, of an unconditional prison sentence.

    What some states offer (in my opinion correctly so) is that tax evaders can come clear if they self-indict themselves. If the self-indictment is ‘in time’ (i. e. before a tax inquiry has been started), and if it meets all other requirements, tax evaders can come clear by paying up taxes. But they do have a criminal record going forward. After Germany had purchased a CD with Swiss bank accounts, thousands of Germans moved to self-indict themselves… (generating millions and millions of revenue for the state).

    You may know the case of Uli Hoeness (President of FC Bayern). He self-indicted himself and immediately paid all evaded taxes. Still, an arrest order was presented and he is now free on bail. It is not clear yet whether he self-indicted himself ‘in time’ (it may be that he did it only after hearing that someone was looking into his case). If he is ruled not to have been in time, he will have to pay a heavy fine and get a conditional prison sentence. If his tax evasion exceeds a certain amount, no one – not even his buddy, the Governor of Bavaria – can save him from having to go to prison.

  6. PS got a story on what Greek grannies and mommies chat about while swimming

    Oh dear! That’s heavy stuff… then I would change my vote to you publishing stories about the crisis? Thank you! 😀

  7. keeptalkinggreece

    heavy stuff indeed. they cook every day fasolakia (string beans in tomatoe sauce) and feed the kids with bifteki

  8. keeptalkinggreece

    you didn’t misread. Greek media described it as one of the most severe punishment law of tax evaders in EU ( I personally cannot tell). Given the tax-evasion mentality here, do you believe they would pay if they know they land in prison anyway?

  9. Klaus is right. In Holland they have the same system. And even if you self-indict you might get a lesser punishment. But you will always pay more than you would have if you would have not cheated.
    And no, I don’t think most Greeks would pay if they thought they land in prison. But then again, they wouldn’t pay in any case, as most still seem to believe (and probably rightly so) that there will be always help around the corner from a koumbara, a person they know who knows a person, who kn…. Or there will be simply an amnesty law. And even when there will be an amnesty law, like time and again with illegal buildings, any punishment that would be in that law would be watered down over time so much that most would be very happy they cheated in the first place…
    By the way… I feel for poor little Uli… but not really. And so do an awful lot of Germans I know. 😀

  10. Oh… I miss those!!! Fasolakia! Some bifteki! Some nice baked potatoes. Bit of tomatoes and cucumbers or marouli. Bit of real feta. And all accompanied with a nice glass of local rose… 🙁

  11. keeptalkinggreece

    I ‘ve hating fasolakia and bifteki all my life