News Column

IMF Frustrated With Greece Over Tax Collection

June 5, 2013

Greece's international lenders on Wednesday said the country must do more to overhaul its dysfunctional tax system, a key condition of its international bailout.

The daily Kathimerini newspaper quoted visiting EU tax commissioner Algirdes Semeta as saying that a shake-up is needed to boost revenue collection.

Technical staff representing the European Commission, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are currently in Athens for an inspection visit.

They note that Athens has yet to carry out the recruitment of additional tax inspectors. It has also failed to boost inspections on rich taxpayers in areas where tax evasion is believed to be rife, namely doctors and lawyers.

Aside form overhauling the tax collection system, other issues on the agenda of EU/IMF mission chiefs include streamlining the public administration, closing the financial gap for 2015 and 2016 and privatizing state assets.

The government is also expected to ask EU/IMF inspectors for an extension to plans to fire 2,000 civil servants by September.

Greek Finance Ministry officials said the current inspection visit will last until the middle of June and concerns the release of an additional tranche of 3.3 billion euros (4.3 billion dollars) in emergency funding.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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