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Greece: Finance Ministry G.S. resigns after Budget Revenues Shortfall

 A political bomb exploded in the hands of PM George Papandreou’s government after the General Secretary of Finance Ministry, Dimitris Georgakopoulos, submitted his resignation, apparently citing ‘personal reasons’. The government tries to downplay the resignation stressing that the resignation wasn’t due to political or management reasons. However in prime time news, Georgakopoulos seems to have leaked to the press his disappointment about the management at the Finance Ministry. He allegedly have claimed that he had made several proposals to improve the functioning of tax offices and increase the state revenues.

Greek news portals claim that Georgakopoulos was forced to resign.

Georgakopoulos was General secretary in charge of Taxes and Customs. His resignation comes a day after the Finance Ministry calculated  that the Net Budget revenues posted serious shortfall in the first two months of 2011 and that they have drifted off course. Daily Kathimerini wrote that the shortfall exceeding 870 million euros after the February goal was missed by 595 million. 

“It appears that the revenue problems arose due to poor calculations by the Finance Ministry while drafting the budget, a reduction in checks and the go-slow tactics of some tax officers in protest at recent salary cuts.”

I don’t know if  Georgakopoulos would have saved the state revenues by getting Greeks on their knees. However I had watched him recently on a morning TV broadcast and he was saying literally:

We don’t want small business (“μικρά μαγαζάκια”) here! We want strong businesses. In order to change the market we have to change the mentality.

Georgakopoulos was even gesticulating with the hand in to to give emphasis to what he was saying. Ι remember the picture as I was really impressed to hear such things by a government official of a country where a small business has been the A and O against unemployment for ages. And thus on a Saturday morning…

Of course, we cannot expect by somebody, who served as member of parliament form 1981-2007, to understand the plight of small people making a living out of their small businesses…

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