Greece hopes to collect back taxes after “naming and shaming” evaders
Greece recently published a list naming over 4,000 alleged tax evaders in hopes of shaming them into paying.
The list, compiled by the Finance Ministry, included a famous entertainer, a professional basketball player, and a former newspaper publisher.
According to the Associated Press, the debt totals $19.5 billion. Ministry officials are not optimistic that they will be able to collect it all.
Finance Ministry official Haris Theocharis said, “The truth is that these lists contain debtors who in some cases have owed the money for a long period of time, so after a certain point one does not expect to be able to collect the debts.”
“But I’m sure that there are possibilities … In some cases (publication) will push debtors to settle their debts, and tax offices to redouble their efforts,” Theocharis added. He is in charge of the ministry’s general secretariat of information systems that published the list.
Other European nations are also cracking down on tax evaders. The 27 nations of the European Union are meeting on Monday in Brussels to discuss how they can improve growth and increase jobs.
USA TODAY reports that countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal are increasing taxes and finding ways to make evaders pay up.