Greece: Combatting Tax Evasion is Utmost Priority

Greece’s return to global bond markets is a very positive development for the domestic economy. It is a solid proof that the country is steadily entering into economic normality after seven years of hardship. There is a long way to go for the complete reinstatement of financial independence, but the Greek government is on the right direction.

In the domestic field, the government is putting forth a series of reforms that bolster social justice, solidarity, prosperity, transparency and democratic accountability. One of the major challenges we have to face refers to the fight against expansive corruption and vested interests that keep standing as burdens against social equality and the proper implementation of the rule of law.

It is outrageous to witness specific professional groups, such as the lawyer and doctor communities, to insist in tax-evading, at the expense of the outright majority of tax payers. Tax evasion is backlashing against any effort to appease tax hikes and reform the current fiscal mix as such professional groups keep violating the law by denying to establish Points of Sales (POS) for their transactions. The partial implementation of the law burdens all tax payers and turn harder the increase of tax income for the public funds.  

Similarly goes for the judicial corps that delays any transparent control over the income of the judges and impedes the conclusion of major cases linked with tax scandals. All people are equal against the law, and this constitutional arrangement also includes those serving the judicial system. Doubtful assumptions on the role and decision-making power of the political and legislative authority by certain interests or elite groups, especially with regards to justice equality and transparency, are violating the very foundations of our democracy.    

The Greek government is endeavouring to address all relevant issues and secure that the debate on the constitutional reform is running smoothly. So-called concerns over the limits of political over judicial power are completely irrelevant and only serve a ruinous propaganda staged by the corrupted political establishment that has put Greece into a bankruptcy limbo.

A great deal of reforms that the Greek government is putting forth should have been adopted years ago. Addressing crucial drawbacks in the political management and coping with tax evasion successfully, could improve the current fiscal mix and facilitate sustainable growth.

Those professional groups that aim at keeping the economy at bay and the society dependent to vested interests, are doing nothing more than adopting the very same mentality and practice that has ended up in the country’s default. Nonetheless, it is important to point out that the outright majority of the Greek people are resisting to take a backstep, supporting the government on that cause. The groups that defy harmonization of tax monitoring will be finally obliged to abide by the rules.  

* Dimitris Papadimoulis is Vice-President of the European Parliament, head of Syriza party delegation.   

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