Arab Today, arab today greeces new anticorruption minister battles tax evasion scourge
Last Updated : GMT 19:37:45
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Greece's new anti-corruption minister battles tax evasion scourge

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Greece's new anti-corruption minister battles tax evasion scourge

Panagiotis Nikoloudis
Athens - AFP

Greece's new anti-corruption tsar Panagiotis Nikoloudis has been tasked with recovering 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) for the debt-strapped government's coffers through a ruthless crackdown on tax evasion.
The former Supreme Court deputy prosecutor and Greece's first ever anti-corruption minister told AFP he was itching to tackle the scourge blamed for the country's financial woes and its lack of credibility among its EU peers.
"I've heard so many times 'we're going to fight corruption', always 'we're going to, we're going to', and I was speechless, thinking 'but why don't we do it now?'" the 65-year old said in an interview.
"If the new government has come to see me it's because it really wants to act," said the bushy-eyebrowed minister, who describes himself as a stubborn man who "never stops, even when I hit a wall".
Waging war on corruption was one of the left-wing government's electoral promises, and Nikoloudis is under pressure to produce results that can be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Greece's creditors.
His said his first mission was to hunt down and recover several billion euros of undeclared taxes.
- 'Time is our problem' -
As the outgoing head of the independent money laundering authority, Nikoloudis has already handed 3,200 files to the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), which he believes are almost entirely "the fruits of tax evasion".
The cases, which involve hundreds of bank accounts in Greece and abroad, are estimated to be worth some 6.4 billion euros, of which 2.5 billion euros ($2.83 billion) are owed to the government, he said.
Such funds are desperately needed to finance a series of urgent social measures that the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has promised to implement to help Greeks hit hardest by a six-year recession.
The files are just a small part of the 28,000 cases that the money laundering authority has combed through since 2011, but they are "the most glaring, the most serious".
The key to recovering the money, Nikoloudis says, lies in overhauling a cumbersome bureaucratic system in which endless red tape creates a "bottleneck" at tax offices where cases grind to a halt.
If he cannot change the system "it will be a failure for the large part, because the tax will be paid one day -- but when? Time is our problem," he said.
He would like to see a simpler method, where evaders are offered a partial amnesty to coax them into paying up.
The SDOE crimes squad "is an organisation that has a stigma attached to it -- half the people there are said to be corrupt. I don't deny there is some truth in it," he said.
Nikoloudis is relying on his own squeaky clean reputation to inspire his troops.
"Everyone deserves a second chance. I'm going to ask the staff if they can work in line with my principles," he said, admitting that "some people will not change."
After tax evasion, he promises to move against other financial crimes such as cigarette and fuel smuggling.
"An EU ambassador once told me we could solve our debt problem by optimising our customs offices," he said.
But Nikoloudis is nothing if not a realist.
"I do not plan to solve everyday corruption. I am no Don Quixote," he said.

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today greeces new anticorruption minister battles tax evasion scourge Arab Today, arab today greeces new anticorruption minister battles tax evasion scourge

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today 17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016

GMT 00:47 2017 Monday ,27 February

17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday