Greek Student: But Tax Evasion Helps Support Families!

Greece Greek Rioter

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Greece is no victim of speculative investors, but rather a victim of its own financial mismanagement.


“There’s no taboo about this,” the 23-year-old student said in a Feb. 2 interview. “Tax evasion helps support families, but it’s not good for the Greek state.”

Greece’s revenue from income tax was 4.7 per cent of GDP in 2007, compared with an EU average of 8 per cent, EU statistics show. Tax revenue fell by 2.5 percentage points of GDP between 2000 and 2007 to a euro region-low of 32 per cent even as economic growth averaged 4.1 per cent a year.

That anger taps into a tradition of tax evasion-as-protest against nearly four centuries of rule by the Ottoman Turks that ended with Greek independence in 1829, Massourakis said. Even for those who pay, colluding with tax-dodging of taxi drivers and bar-owners is still considered a form of solidarity.

“If this was a friend of mine he wouldn’t give me a receipt and I wouldn’t ask,” Rigas said. “I’m not so sure they’ll succeed.”

At the risk of being horribly general, from 30,000 feet up, it sounds like Greek citizens want services, protected jobs, and retirement benefits; all without anyone paying a dime. Read more here >

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