Agence France-Presse Monday 23 February 2015
Crackdown on tycoons and the smuggling industry is part of fiscal reforms to be presented to creditors on Monday, German tabloid Bild says
Greece has drawn up a €7.3bn tax hit list aimed at the country’s oligarchs and lucrative smuggling industry, a German newspaper said, as part of reform proposals due to its creditors.
European finance ministers on Friday gave Athens just over three days to draw up a list acceptable to its international creditors in exchange for a four-month extension of its debt bailout.
The German tabloid Bild reported that the Greek government hopes to garner €2.5bn in tax receipts from the fortunes of powerful Greek tycoons, citing sources close to the hard-left Syriza government.
A similar amount would be drawn from back taxes owed to the state by individuals and businesses, Bild said.
Minister of state Nikos Pappas said the government was drafting list of reforms including making the civil service more effective and laws to combat tax evasion
The report said an additional crackdown on illegal smuggling of petrol and cigarettes would yield another €2.3bn for the government coffers.
Greece’s government is walking a tightrope between its commitments to European creditors and its electoral pledges to end austerity in a country struggling to recover from severe economic crisis.
Two previous rounds of talks ended in acrimony with Greece accusing Germany and other hard-line EU member states of sabotaging a deal.
To win Friday’s hard-fought deal, Athens pledged to refrain from one-sided measures that could compromise its fiscal targets and had to abandon plans to use some €11bn in leftover European bank support funds to help restart the Greek economy.
“Europe has some breathing space, nothing more, and certainly not a resolution. Now it’s up to Athens,” German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Bild.
“The fundamentals – namely assistance in exchange for reform – must remain the same.”
On Tuesday, Greece’s creditors will decide whether to proceed with Friday’s agreement after considering the proposals, with the chance that the compromise could be scrapped if they are not satisfied.
If Athens sticks to its commitments, it stands to receive up to €7.2bn in funds still left in its €240bn bailout from the EU and the International Monetary Fund.