Athens Tax Authorities Can't Defeat The Greek Way Of Life

Greece Mykonos Beach

Pushed by the EU and the IMF to boost revenues, the Greek government is getting increasingly ruthless in its fight against tax cheats and is even resorting to “name and shame” tactics. But it is still a long way from meeting its targets.

Greece’s most exclusive beach club is the “Nammos” on the island of Mykonos, where the drink of the season is Mastiha, a brandy-based liqueur flavored with resin from the mastic tree. Konstantinos Tsakiris, 40, is gulping down a glass of Mastiha as he gazes out at the sea. “There’s no crisis here,” says Tsakiris, who is one of Greece’s biggest ship owners and the principal owner of the Greek association football club Panionios Athens.

Luxury motor yachts and sailing boats are bobbing at anchor in the narrow bay of Psarou. The deckchairs at the Nammos are so coveted that many are booked in advance for the whole summer — at €3,000 ($4,140) apiece. “You can do anything you want here, anything that’s crazy and fun,” says Tsakiris. He has the beginnings of a paunch, wears his hair short and has a large tattoo on his chest. Next to him, a Lebanese construction magnate is pouring champagne from a €250 bottle onto the heads of his young female companions. The Nammos is the kind of place where tabloid reporters get their stories.

Continue reading at Der Spiegel >

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