Greeks Stop Paying Taxes Ahead Of Elections As Central Bank Scrambles To Halt Bank Run Rumors

Tyler Durden's picture

In what appears to be a desperate attempt to boost confidence in a failing financial system taken right out of the 2011/2012 playbook, over the weekend the National Bank of Greece had its latest "subprime is contained" moment and loudly announced that "the situation with deposit outflows from the country was under control" as it tried to reassure markets ahead of a Jan. 25 snap election, reports Kathimerini.

Why the urge to frontrun concerns of bank runs? Simple: the Greek media reported that there have been significant deposit outflows in recent days due to political uncertainty two weeks ahead of early elections.

Opinion polls show that the radical leftist Syriza party maintains its lead over the ruling conservatives.


"After reports about deposit outflows from the country's banks, the Bank of Greece notes that the situation is under full control," the central bank said in a statement.


"The Bank of Greece along with the European Central Bank are monitoring closely the developments and intervene whenever this is necessary," it said.

Of course, one doesn't need three official denials - one should suffice - to know that things are serious and the National Bank of Greece has to lie. In fact, expect things to get a lot more serious in the next two weeks, especially if Syriza's lead in polling widens from the current 3-6% lead over New Democracy as reported by various polling agencies.

However, while there will be no official confirmation whether Greece did or did not have a bank run for months, unless of course some bank keels over and dies in the interim, one thing is certain: with an increasing probability they may not have a "continuity-promoting" government in less than two weeks, Greeks tax remittances to the government, which were almost non-existent to begin with, have ground to a halt!

According to a second Kathimerini report, budget revenues have slumped over the last few days as a result of the upcoming elections and taxpayers’ uncertainty about the future.

 The Finance Ministry has recorded a remarkable slowdown in applications for settlement of debts to the state through the 100-installment program, as well as a reduction in revenues from the single property tax (ENFIA), while the payment of arrears to social security funds appears to have stalled.

It appears taxpayers everywhere are learning from the best: their insolvent governments. In this case, Greek (non) taxpayers have decided to slow down their mandatory remittances to the government even more because the government may just not exist in two short weeks:

Most taxpayers have chosen to delay their payments, given that the positions of the two main parties leading the election polls are diametrically opposite: Poll leader SYRIZA promises to cancel the ENFIA and even write off bad loans, while ruling New Democracy acknowledges the difficulties but is avoiding raising issues that would generate problems and fiscal consequences.


The dwindling state revenues will not only hamper the next government’s fiscal moves, but, given that the fiscal gap will expand, also negotiations with the country’s creditors. The Finance Ministry will have to make plans for new measures and make sure that salaries, pensions and operating expenses are covered, especially in case the creditors do not pay the bailout installments which are already overdue.


Speaking to Kathimerini, a top ministry official confirmed the major slowdown in the rate of applications for debt settlement, and referred to post-election consequences from the shortfall in state revenues. The tax collection mechanism appears to be largely out of action while expired debts are swelling due to taxpayers’ wait-and-see tactics and the reduction in inspections. The same official pointed out that it is normal for revenues to lag during election periods, adding that this time there is no scope for shortfalls.

And since the current Greek government largely operates on behalf of unelected Brussels eurocrats, we applaud this action by the Greeks to finally take matters into their own hands. Perhaps what is more confusing is that Greeks were actually paying any taxes in the past 5 years.

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BlindMonkey's picture

I want to stop paying taxes in protest of the next election.  Who's in??

Truther's picture

Sure.... run, run, run, bank run.

noben's picture

Is that you, Roger Waters?

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Dear Greeks - 

Pay not a single cent in taxes the next two weeks.  Pull every EUR you can out of the banks.  


--The Rest of the World  

Latina Lover's picture

Greek democracy 2.0,  freeing us of the criminal central banksters by just refusing to pay taxes.  If only the average american was this courageous, we would be free of the money parasites.

Ghordius's picture

the whole point of this election is that a party came from nearly nowherere and might win against old, established parties. try that at home.  "Pull every EUR you can out of the banks" - somehow this advice seems to be as if Greeks did not notice Cyprus, or their crisis since a couple of years

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

the thing that'll scare the EU the most is if Syriza is lead by true believers who can't be bought off which would require them to do something bad and likely very illegal to herd them back into line. Of course the other over-leveraged countries might get a bit pissed and scared if they do.

StopBeingParanoid's picture

If the Greeks misbehave too much, the rest of Europe (reforming Med cuntries included) will agree to make an example out of Greece. In the same way "they lied to us [...] so now we stick a foot to their neck", the rest of the union will be forced to make them as miserable as possible to descourage similar out-of-mind ideas in Portugal or, heaven forbid, €2,000bn-debt-loaded Italy.

frenzic's picture

Talking about true believers meaning politicians hahaha excuse me while I laugh myself a in a stupor. There are none. Not in this job.

tonyw's picture

i am interested to know how the tax system (is supposed to) works in Greece.

in many countries employed people have the tax deducted automatically from their wages so not possible for them to stop paying taxes.

of course those self-employed have to hand over the monies along with corporations.

so is it the self-employed and corporations that are not paying?



Urban Redneck's picture

To paraphrase Leona Helmsley - those are the little people rules (who pay a relatively small share of the State's total tax confiscations).  Wages are only a small part of aggregate individual income.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

I'm not sure how they are set up but Greece has the highest tax non-compliance rate in the EU which doesn't make it any easier.

Paveway IV's picture

A third are officially unemployed. A third are self-employed and self-report. The last third do have payroll deduction for tax and social security. If all your income was from wages, then you don't have to file a tax return in Greece. That pretty much takes care of the 'little people'. The rich and corporations evade taxes like everyone else. It's just easier in Greece because there's nobody that's going to fund a huge tax-auditing branch or crack down on evaders. 

Welfare recipients in Greece are strongly against the idea of people not paying taxes, but the tax protest isn't mandatory - welfare recipients are free to continue to pay their taxes if they want. Isn't freedom great?

Franktastic's picture

And don't forget to throw them all in Jail (bankers and politicians who supported the banks) this commoner has learned a lesson from Iceland.

GoldSilverBitcoinBug's picture

Hope people would stop paying taxes to protest for less government in their economic live and less taxes, instead of throwing themselves from Bankster to economic Statist and leftist wolves where free markets, free entrepreneurship and strong private property right are considered as Satan's himself...

Look like thee peeples still stupid after all.

If the future of dumbocracy is Statism and communism I prefer to kill myself right now.

Arius's picture

ZH -


Please stop fueling the fire.


We already know what is going on. Thank you.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Ignore this shithead.  

Pour on the gas.  As much as you possibly can.   

nope-1004's picture

Arius -


Please pull your head out of your ass.


We all are tired of watching you embarrass yourself.  Thank you.

Arius's picture

why am i embarrasing myself?  what is wrong on my statement? 

dont you agree that Greece is all a set up? the same thing with all this debt that everyone has been loaded up with from the regular folks, to students etc. dont know where to start or end .... the latest example, the airlines have been stuck with $70 forward oil contracts... how convenient right before the crash....

dont you agree all these people in greece are suffering there as a result?

I know there is a script already and will take place like it or not, but I dont think it should be supported.

vmromk's picture


Arius's picture

yeah, right another paid shill ... never saw your name posting before .... right time right place

Haus-Targaryen's picture

I downvote every single one of your pro-status-quo posts.  Sadly, that happens to be essentially all of them.  


Arius's picture

I dont argue with stupid people ...

As Twain said: they drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

I am not a loser

Haus-Targaryen's picture

You're just not that intelligent.  No worries though.  The world also needs idiots and morons.  

BurningFuld's picture

Then a double post for double the down votes.....

Abitdodgie's picture

Arius, I think you are right this is ALL bread and circus for the masses , and as for greece ,well please been there done that . Just like the oil prices that was not done on purpose.

Abitdodgie's picture

Do I need the sarc tag on that last sentance.

Farqued Up's picture

Regardless whether you're full of shit or not, don't lose your soapbox. Every great idea ever posited came from a lone wolf that didn't follow the pack. Ulcers treatment comes to mind.

Okienomics's picture

I endorse that sentiment.

malek's picture

 > Please stop fueling the fire.

 what is wrong on my statement?

Well for starters you haven't given the slightest hint why you believe it is bad (i.e. worse than just meaningless) for the regular folks to fuel the fire.
In other words lay out what is the script they would be supporting, and why acting differently or not at all would make a dent.

Latina Lover's picture

For 2016, ithe next presidential candidates will likely be Hitlery Clinton and Jeb Bush.  If this blatant dynastic election rigging by the banksters will not make the  USSA sheeple revolt, then they deserve to be sent to FEMA camps for the final solution 2.0.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

I want to stop paying taxes in protest of the next election.  Who's in??

Just after the long conversation with the FBI and other fascist thugs.

EscapeKey's picture

You are. In jail, that is.

OV61FVF's picture

Greece is toast. Just stick a fork in it already.

gatorengineer's picture

Greece will be just fine.....  Diebold, and the IMF got their backs.....

NoDebt's picture

I said that many times over the last X years on ZH.  And not just about Greece.  Japan comes immediately to mind.  Yet here we are.  Still lurching along from crisis to crisis.

The one thing you can depend on is that until money printing stops working they will print money.

halfasleep's picture

boom, there it is, the history of financialization ==> "until money printing stops working they will print money"

pods's picture

Something about little hard nipples on top of man-boobs makes me want to puke.


buzzsaw99's picture

...little hard nipples ???


RaceToTheBottom's picture

Is that guy taking a dump?

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Is that guy taking a dump?

Not correctly.

I can hear you saying, "I may not know a lot about fasting, but I know how to BM. I have been BMing all of my life."  I know you have been BMing all of your life, but you probably have not been BMing properly.

...situation with deposit outflows...

High knees!


High knees!

...mechanism appears to be largely out of action...

High knees!

Handful of Dust's picture

Man boobs are bad, but hairy women nipples are the worst!


Get caught in your teeth. Worse yet is if you accidentaly inhale one of those puffy nipple hairs and it gets caught in your lungs ... Latest research shows nipple hairs cause lung cancer.

Element's picture

I'm going to try that next time, just to see how it turns out, ever curious (and a little excited at the potential).

HardlyZero's picture

Mr. Panos is resting, waiting for the Germans to return and visit his beaches, for the German schnitzel sandwich.

astoriajoe's picture

oh is it time for Mr. Panos again?!!

Happy Monday to me!