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Surreal world: Greeks protest mergers of … tax offices

From Athens to Naousa and from Grevena to Lesvos, municipalities and residents organized protests against the mergers of …tax officers. In towns like Deskati/Grevena, Kalloni/Lesvos, Atalanti/Fthiotida, Kyparissia/Messini, Karystos/Evia, Leonidi/Arcadia, Mires/Irakleio, in Pylos and in Naoussa, in a total of nine tax offices protesters did not hesitate even to build a wall in order to prohibit the planned mergers.

Έχτισαν την είσοδο της ΔΟΥ Καρύστου

In Karystos, Evia residents and traders built a wall at the entrance door of local tax office and hung a gallow from the roof. They claim the merger would degrade them “into second class citizens” and that the town would suffer economic losses once the civil servants would move away.

The outraged taxpayers complain that they will have to travel many kilometers to fix issues with the tax office, once they are merged.

In Atalanti, residents complain that they will have to travel 180 kilometers to go to the tax office in Lamia.

Three-day occupation in tax office of Aegaleo, western Athens. Municipality trucks block the entrance. Aegaleo tax office to be merged with the one in Chaidari. Aegaleo residents complain their is no easy public transport connection to Chaidari.

The oparation of a total 51 tax offices across the country was suspended on Monday. The Finance Ministry plans to suspend also the operation of 20 tax offices located on Greek islands. 

Κύμα καταληψεων σε Δ.Ο.Υ σε όλη τη χώρα

In Deskati police intervened following a prosecutor’s order to the occupation of the tax office. Local authority officials had been occupied the tax office for several days, hindering the transport of  files to Grevena tax office.

The suspension of operation and mergers of tax offices are a Greek obligation imposed by the country’s lenders, the Troika.  170 tax offices out of a total of 290 will have to close down. 

The tax offices mergers take place while the Finance Ministry has not completed yet the administrative reforms that will make the physical presence of taxpayers to the tax offices unnecessary.

The ministry plans to open so-called ‘tax centres’ in some areas.

With these mergers Greece breaks another world record: more taxes, less tax offices!

 In this surreal Greek world, it looks as if Greeks refuse to pay taxes but they love their tax-offices lol

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6 comments

  1. In the UK your tax office is normally hundred plus miles away. This is cost efficient. A service is offered by phone and internet. Offices are large and are usually put in areas where jobs are most needed e.g. Newcastle

    • Yes, U.K, Germany and so many other countries have working online services for tons of tax related services. Greece has very few. Would have been better if they first launched the services, then closed the offices. Now is really a lose / lose situation to be Greek.

  2. “In this surreal Greek world, it looks as if Greeks refuse to pay taxes but they love their tax-offices”
    So true! A real paradox!

    • No paradox at all. It’s like elizabeth and Sven are saying: you have to go to an tax-office in Greece constantly and that they first should change the whole system before closing down the offices. When my business was still a Greek one my wife was there at least once a month (think I wrote here somewhere why I was not allowed to go anymore *LOL*). In my other country I have never EVER seen the inside of a tax-office in all my years. And yes, I have been paying taxes since I was 18. Even then everything could be done by telephone or by post. Now by internet and email too.
      So, on the one side you have the worry that you have to travel every other week to an tax-office a long way from home. That will cost you every other week at least one working day!

      But more important for a large group of Greeks is that they are very used to go into the tax-office and make deals with the officials they know very well. Guys and girls they went to school with. Who’s children are your children’s friends. People who are in all kind of matters related to you. Who can ‘guide’ you, for a small fee or a small deed, through all kinds of trouble. That will be sorely missed when those offices will be closed.

      • I know nobody in the tax office and nobody knows me but I don’t live in a small town area or something.

        • We know people, because they live near us or near our friends. And more important, our first accountant knew them all. And it might sound strange to some but that was one of the reasons we got rid of him. We didn’t want to participate in those practices.
          In our case you had a tax-office in a town of not even 15.000 people. And a couple of thousand more for the whole area as the next, much smaller, village had its own DOY. There was a time that I did not understand why a small community like that ‘next village’ had their own tax-office. Bit like why Kranidi (Argolida) had one… 🙄