Quote of the day: tax-evading Greek oligarchs

Greek oligarchs 1From an article by UK journalist Paul Mason, published on the eve of the Greek vote:

“As for the Greek oligarchs, their misrule long predates the crisis. These are not only the famous shipping magnates, whose industry pays no tax, but the bosses of energy and construction groups and football clubs. As one eminent Greek economist told me last week:

“These guys have avoided paying tax through the Metaxas dictatorship, the Nazi occupation, a civil war and a military junta.”

They had no intention of paying taxes as the troika began demanding Greece balance the books after 2010, which is why the burden fell on those Greeks trapped in the PAYE system – a workforce of 3.5 million that fell during the crisis to just 2.5 million.”

Our quote of the day is the bit in bold. It’s apt that the word ‘oligarch’ comes from ancient Greek, isn’t it?.

Anyway, the rest of the article is highly recommended. Martin Wolf’s latest article on Greece’s debts in the Financial Times also caught our eye.

He does write about the need for ‘reform’ in Greece – a word that so often conjures up images of spending cuts, wage cuts and the like – but there’s no monopoly on language: we should encourage people to include a crackdown on tax evading and avoiding élites as a central component of any reforms.

Update, a few hours later: Alan Beattie in the Financial Times has elaborated on this latter question of ‘reform’, in an excellent article. In which he argues, among other things:

“The other reason to be cautious about “structural reform” packages is that all manner of boneheaded ideas can get shoved into the grab-bags of policy changes assembled during a crisis. (Rescue loans with lots of shiny deregulation requirements attached to them acquired the unduly poetic name of “Christmas tree programmes” inside the IMF.)
. . .

Actions need to be looked at sector by sector, measure by measure, not corralled together under a crude and biased title.”

 

 


Related Posts

UN must defend target to curtail multinational companies’ tax abuse

Photo by Luca Santori, Creative Commons LicenseThe Tax Justice Network, The Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice call on the UN Secretary General to make sure the commitment to action on tax abuses by multinational companies remains part of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

READ MORE →

The BVI: Responsible for worldwide tax losses of $37.5 billion a year

BVI report blogAn extraordinary report by consultants Capital Economics, for BVI Finance, claims that the British Virgin Islands are responsible for $1.5 trillion of assets invested around the world, and that these result in 2.2 million jobs and $15 billion in tax revenue. A better approximation would be that the BVI imposes global tax losses of $37.5 […]

READ MORE →

Event: Making Tax Work for Women in the UK and Globally

Invitation_ Tax and Gender eventOn Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 16.30 our very own Liz Nelson will be speaking at an event in London that aims to bring together gender and tax justice advocates to highlight the need for coherent and gender-responsive fiscal policies to safeguard the rights of women and girls both in the UK and globally. The […]

READ MORE →

Historic event on women, human rights and tax justice in Bogota

BogotaLast week civil society organisations, researchers, labour union activists and policy makers met in Bogota, Colombia to explore how tax justice issues can ensure governments, multinational corporations and others meet their obligations to women in order to secure their full range of human rights. The Women’s Rights and Tax Justice conference opened with a conversation […]

READ MORE →

The Offshore Wrapper: the Panama Papers, one year on

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceWelcome to the Offshore Wrapper – your weekly update from TJN.  Happy Paniversary! This week it’s been one year since the Panama Papers were leaked, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice. In London, activists from the TJN and the […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top