Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras admitted in an interview that also he was not exemption to the old Greek tradition: to buy services and goods without asking and/or receiving a receipt. A practice that helped vendors and other professionals to steal from the state the Value Added Tax and declare much lower income than their real one. At the same time, the consumer would enjoy a one- or two-digit percentage reduction in the absence of receipt and V.A.T. – except in restaurants, cafeterias and bars, where no receipt would be issued but the owner would cash the whole amount, V.A.T. included.
“When the hairdresser would come, he would never issued a receipt, ” Stournaras told state broadcaster NET TV on Monday night, admitting that also he -as consumer- was part of the national sinister hobby: the tax evasion.
“Now I ask for receipts,” added the Greek at the post of finance minister since last July. And thus in an effort to go ahead and give a good example and more than this in order to persudade the Greek audience of the necessity to ask receipts by merchants and sellers of goods and services of all kinds.
Video: excerpt NET interviewembedded by Embedded Video
The reporter asks the minister about the system of receipts collections and the criticism against the government policies that try to turn the taxpayers into tax-collectors and employees-pensioners into tax-officers.
“We ask them to help. here comes the guy that maintains the heating system, do you take a receipt? You don’t.” Stournaras said. “Do you take receipts?” the journalist asked to get the reply:
“Until recently I didn’t, now I do. From my hairdresser, I didn’t, now I do. He would come, say very nice words, but he would never issue a receipt. Now, I ask for one. For everything,” Stournaras said.
Proud of the recent radical change in his own mentality and still unable to combat big scale tax evasion, Yiannis Stournaras forces now only low and middle class employees and pensioners to collect receipts worth 25% of their annual income. However as he does not accept receipts for expenditure for utilities, transport and other basic needs, he imposes a fine worth 22% of the amount in absent receipts.
No wonder, that Stournaras’ taxes mania inspired a creative mind to ‘play’ with the Doctors Without Borders fundraising campaign “Pastilles for the pain of the other” and create a ” Stournaras tax raising campaign” for the …pocket of the other! A finance minister without borders of shame, without taxes and receipts, as he tries to drain the low incomes but let big scale tax evaders prevail.
“Taxes for the pocket of the other. You impose them, somebody else stops laughing.”