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Lack of revenues? Greece to collect from the Dead…

When I first read about GreekFinance Ministry plans to collect revenues from the dead, I thought it was a media exaggeration or just a FinMin official suffering a panic attack. However here comes a a Wall Street Journal report confirming the idea is not just a macabre joke or the result of a confused minded technocrat.

“If you can’t collect revenues from the living, then how about raising some money from the dead? Specifically, Greece’s bean counters are wondering what happens to all those assets— houses, offices, bank accounts, stock holdings—that belonged to the deceased, but who passed away without survivors?” asks the WSJ.

The news comes out just days  after friends of mine were wondering , how comes the state does not enforce a property tax to privately owned… graves. Now we came up with another idea. After the FinMin will have managed to register the ‘dead without survivors’ in a surely intricated and complicated procedure, it can inform the municipalities to unbury the dead from their graves as it is unlikely that they pay their grave maintenance fee. Municipalities can sell the graves – prices in Athens graveyards approx. 20,000 euros – and increase their own revenues too…

According to Wall Street Journal, there are estimations that there could be €4 billion to €20 billion out there in unclaimed assets that can be tapped by the Finance Ministry. 

“If so, that would go a long way to closing Greece’s budget deficit (last year around €22 billion) and would even make a dent in the national debt, now around €340 billion.”

Of course, there is the big question: How can you make proper fiscal plans when you have no idea what numbers and amounts you are talking about. But that’s Greece! Lots of blind ideas and casual planning. Tax properly the wealthy and you will get your revenues, dear Greek state!

Fully correct the WST stresses that: 

“A year since Greece began its draconian austerity program under European Union and International Monetary Fund oversight, the Greek tax authorities have yet to nab one big tax evader or recoup revenue from the seizure of assets. Instead they have the favored quick-fix (and revenue producing) solution of a tax amnesty over the messy business of actually prosecuting tax dodgers in court. “

…and it concludes: “The dead, by contrast, pose fewer problems. But they also don’t pose much of a solution either.”

Read the Full WSJ HERE

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