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Caution: They Wear Blue and Walk Among Us

The men and women from Financial Crimes Units (SDOE) of the Greek Finance Ministry. They appear in small groups of three and wear Air Force Blue uniforms. They walk down the streets and the malls of Athens. Piraeus and suburbs, devoted to combat tax evasion. With their blue appearance they try to scare vendors and consumers alike; the first in order to issue  receipts, the latter in order to ask for receipts.  Needless to say that the moment they arrive, a tiny bird whistles alert and everybody behaves like a lawful citizen.

In austerity and recession times when money is rare, there are not a few vendors who offer a discount if the buyer refrains from getting a receipt. They are both happy about the deal. But the state gets angry seeing itself outside the deal and being deprived from the 23% Value Added Tax revenues.

The Blue SDOE-teams do not limit their activities during the day only. They are authorized to control at night as well and visit entertainment establishments.

The law punishes enterprises that do not issue receipts with fines and even closure. Consumers could pay a fine of €100 should they be caught without a receipt.

PS I wonder why the Blue SDOE teams are active only in Attica Prefecture. Are residents of Athens and Piraeus the only Greeks  evading taxes? Or didn’t the Finance Ministry have enough money to buy more Air Force blue uniforms – which by the way I think they are …Yale blue…

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6 comments

  1. Consumers could pay a fine of €100 should they be caught without a receipt.

    Sorry, but this is total madness. Why should I carry around receipts for good I bought??? I walked out of this country with goods worth more than 5000 euro total. Yes, my tools of the trade. Photo gear, that’s expensive stuff. All payed for legally, with receipts. They are in my office. I will return in a couple of days with the same stuff. And I should carry receipts for them?
    The first of those clowns in blue that would stop me will be totally out of luck. I will laugh my head of and just walk on. And don’t they dare to stop me. It will be bad for their health.
    And in the mean time public prosecutors dealing with financial crime are resigning left and center because of the massive political interference when they try to do their job…
    Is there a smilie for “up yours”? 👿

    • you misunderstood something. you don’t have to carry receipts of the whole year, but just of the good you had just bought.

      • 😳 So, as a customer, you just have to put the stuff you bought in a normal bag and you don’t need to have a receipt? Great. What’s the use of that threat with 100 euro fine then? Must be away to long already… 😉

        • I know from a similar past measure that they are authorized to open your plastic bag. Do not forget to remove the price tags from the goods lol

  2. Antonis, what if the Blue uniform guys were all like Rambo and John Claude VanDame, would you be so bold to not stop if they said to?

    • You obviously never seen me… Rambo? JCvD???? HA! I eat them raw! after all this austerity, I feel hungry. 😀