While Europe, and especially Germany has been understandably "displeased" with having to provide billions in bailout upon bailout funding to Greece every year starting in 2010, all the more so following recent news that Greece has already spent some 75% of its bank bailout cash with no discernible improvement in its economy to show for it, Europes' taxpayers will unlikely be any more pleased to learn that as of the end of June, a whopping €60 billion in past due taxes (an all time record) was owed by Greek businesses and individuals to the state. This is an amount that is 20% greater than the entire external cash handed over by the Troika to keep Greek banks afloat, and represents nearly 30% of imploding Greek GDP.
Perhaps instead of spending money on trips by its premier and/or think-tanks on how to mutually assure itself another few billion in Troika cash to plug this budget hole or that, Greece should invest a few grand to buy the ink it needs to print tax forms, streamlining its tax collection department (on those days it is isn't on strike of course) and generate some real IRR.
Kathimerini has the full story:
Taxpayers’ and businesses’ outstanding debts to the state increased by 3.7 billion euros this year to reach a record 59.77 billion euros at the end of June.
There was an increase of 613 million euros between May and June alone, the general secretariat for public revenues said.
It attributed the rise to the reorganization of the tax administration, delays over offering new payment plans for those with expired debts and the continuing recession and rising unemployment.
Of the total taxes yet to be collected, 21.8 billion euros is owed by individuals and 38.2 billion by businesses.
But why collect overdue taxes and antagonize the Greek taxpaying population (the so-called "professional classes"), when there is a German taxpaying population that can be antagonized, and when Mario Draghi is willing to accept Greek feta and olive oil as money good assets in Europe's unprecedented ongoing collateral transformation experiment?