Greece recruits “undercover” spies among tourists

undercover spies

Athens government plans to hire “inspectors amateur”, including students and tourists, to reduce tax evasion, said in a letter sent to Brussels to Greece and whose content was made public by the international press, reports AFP.

The document, which includes a list of seven key measures which Greece intends to apply to comply with the demands of creditors on economic recovery and reform the tax system, amateur show that inspectors will work “undercover” and will be employed occasionally strictly short term not exceeding two months, then no longer be reinstated to the same purpose.

Circumstance inspectors will be equipped with audio-video recording to detect traders who violate the duties, recordings made by them were later used by IRS agents to enforce sanctions.

“Just the news that thousands of” casual viewers “are present everywhere will be enough to quickly change people’s attitudes, conveying a sense of justice among society and generating a new culture of conformism about paying taxes,” reads the letter signed Greek Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis.

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According to Varoufakis, “tax avoidance culture is deeply implemented among Greek society is” and tax authorities are outnumbered by the many cases of tax evasion.

Athens government has not confirmed nor denied the contents of the letter.

In addition to the objections of a legal nature which would result from the introduction of new measures, considering that Greece has strict laws relating to acceptance in court of evidence obtained based on records, the experiment proposed by Varoufakis will face strong opposition and the population about “foundry”.

“If it is waiting authorities to combat tax evasion in this way, it means that the government is not only dangerous, since it does not get legal ramnificatiile measure nor its effectiveness, but it’s ridiculous and exhibits across the country contempt,” said a spokesman for the New Democracy opposition party that passed in January, after acensiunea to power left SYRIZA party.

Besides the intention to hire inspectors to combat tax evasion amateur Greek authorities proposed a number of innovative measures to reduce bureaucracy and to digitize data processed by state institutions and Otin to increase revenues from taxes on gambling .

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, responded “positively” to the proposals of Greece, said a representative of the Greek government, told AFP.

Also Varoufakis said Saturday he was optimistic about the new round of talks between euro zone finance ministers, to be held in Brussels on Monday.

Eurozone finance ministers approved in February four months extension of the program to rescue Greece after Athens government is committed to improving tax collection, to strengthen pension funds and continue privatization.

European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank have expressed support for the commitments made by the Greek government, but stressed that Greece will not be able to access new funds through the current program if you do not have concrete measures for economic recovery.

Greece IMF  paid a debt of 310 million euros, representing the first part of a 1.5 billion debt maturing in two weeks. The Greek State must pay in March loans outstanding of 6 billion.

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