Advisers to Greek finance ministry seem to never run out of creative ideas: the latest proposal on the table is to create tax prisons for those refusing to pay even a small amount of their debts to the state. As there is not space in the current prisons for additional prisoners, new prisons will have to be built.
“Suggestion was made to Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras to create tax prisons in order to combat tax evasion. The proposal was made during a meeting for the new package of measures to fight tax evasion. The measure of the rapid building of new prisons that will imprison those who only make serious tax offenses is connected with the intentions of the leadership of the Ministries of Finance and Justice to detain those who refuse to pay even a small amount of additional taxes and fines imposed on them by tax audits.
Given that empty space is not easy to be found in the prisons of the country as the number of prisoners is double to the prison capacities, on the table are ideas about building new prisons with EU funds and private capital.
Greek Finance Ministry is under intense pressure by the Troika and the EU Task Force of Reichenbach for the disappointing results in tax assessment and tax collection. (full article in Greek Capital.gr).
With this one stone the government will kill not only two but four birds at the same time:
1. it will create jobs in the construction sector that has collapsed due to the economic crisis.
2. it will assign its friends in the construction sector with new and expensive state contracts.
3. it will saw its ‘social face’ by feeding the debtors, providing them with a roof over their head and heating. It will also combat the rising number of ‘new homeless’ due to crisis.
4. It will hire again prison guards and other staff.
Of course, more cost saving would be if the government provides the future prisoners with construction material (concrete blocks, iron bars, padlocks) and have them build their own 2×3 prison cells. Preferably near their homes, so the family would supply them with their daily meals.
I don’t know if they know already the number of future prisoners in order to build capacity-strong prisons. And if they do, why don’t they seize their assets. Unless, they put in one basket tax evaders and those who are unable to pay taxes due to the dramatic increase of their incomes and the unfair tax system that hits mostly the low and middle classes.
Where there is no political will, there is always a way to nonsense measures…
PS I think, it’s high time the Greek government starts considering building Poorhouses as well…