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Thursday, September 29, 2005 

The Greek Inquisition

Biting the Hand That Steals From You
Those who haven’t paid their due debts to the wider public sector will be faced with strict measures. Following an emergency circular issued by the Economy Ministry, Tax Offices will impound salaries, pensions, deposits, rents and other assets from some 500,000 debtors and their close relatives, such as spouses and children, in order to collect debts, which come to over 4 billion euros. (ERT--28/09/2005)
King Kosta obviously needs money. Desperately. And he's looking under every rock to find it. But I have a simple solution for him. Instead of wasting his time investigating 500,000 people all over Greece, he just needs to look in one place. The Greek Parliament buildings. The government itself, owes the public sector almost 5 billion€ in unpaid debts to pension funds and hospitals. Maybe if he'd stop paying out jackpot retirement bonuses to feckless state employees or resolved the issue of empty but costly Olympic venues then maybe he wouldn't have to resort to strongarm tactics on his voting public. Most of the people who will find themselves on the wrong end of a tax audit are no doubt replicating the examples set before them by government officials.

Children? What, is he going to take their milk money?

Thankfully I have no Greek debts, yet. My husband has the credit card in his name and we manage to pay it off every month. But if I do acquire Greek debts, the Greek government will have to stand in line behind the U.S. government, because it is going to take me awhile to pay off my student loans. =p

Seriously though, what a mess. Of course, the mess was accumulating for quite some time, from the looks of things.

There have been attempts like this before. It never really worked. Kosta is simply lashing out for lack of will to do anything more drastic -- something like what you suggest... or, perhaps, going after the half dozen media robber barons owing a minimum 2 billion euro in social security taxes as we speak. Kosta turns out to be a huge disappointment. I don't see any real light at the end of the tunnel.

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