They said it and they did it! Greece’s General Secretariat of Public Revenues uploaded the names of 13,730 big debtors on the official website of the Finance ministry. The names refer to natural persons and legal entities owing to the state more than 150,000 euro and are in payment delays for more than one year.
According to GSPR, the publishing of the names is in context of “citizens’ information and consolidation of tax justice towards loyal taxpayers as well as tax compliance”.
Aim of the GSPR is on one hand to force debtors to settle their debts and on the other hand to inform dealing with the debtors that “they are not consistent in their obligations.”
The GSPR published the name of those debtors who were invited via e-mail to settle their debts but they did not respond.
Not published are the names of those debtors who have made repayment arrangements and pay the installments in time as well as debtors for whom court has ordered suspension of debts payments.
Following instructions from the Data Protection Authority, excluded from the publishing list are also debtors (natural persons) whose cases with regards to their debts have not finalized until today.
Tax, Customs and Audit authorities have concluded their investigation by 30. May 2016. Debtors were warned about the publishing of their names and were invited to respond to the GSPR e-mail by 27. June 2016.
The warning was also leaked to the press, KTG reported also about it. However, it seems the the original ministry intention was to publish the names of debtors owing more than €300,000. Apparently this cap went down to 150,000.
The moment the publishing of the names went out as Breaking News at 3 pm Thursday, visitors’ storm on the GSPR website was so huge that the website went down and it remains down as of 4:30 pm.
A quick scroll down through the lists, show however, that several companies do not exist anymore, some were sold and/or their debts erased.
Among them are, for example, companies that closed down years ago like the Super Market Atlantic (€654million debts) or Olympic Airways, the former national carrier (€1.3billion debts) was privatized and does not exist anymore.
Some debtors who are private persons have been in jail since quite some time.
According to media, the total debt amount from these lists is €90 billion and the state hopes to collect €20 billion.
A similar list was published in 2011 – probably the 2016 lists contains the old debtors and new ones? We have to recheck later, when things have calmed down a bit.
List of legal persons is here
PS on this occasion let’s learn a new Greek phrase “κρεμάω στα μανταλάκια” which means something like “hang laundry from the pegs”, in the sense of “exposing”, “pillorying”, “name and shame”.