World Economy

Greece to Tax Banking Transactions

Greece to Tax Banking Transactions Greece to Tax Banking Transactions

Economy, Development and Tourism Minister Giorgos Stathakis didn’t rule out the possibility of imposing a tax on banking transactions as part of the government’s efforts to increase revenues, according to statements made to a Greek private radio station late Tuesday.

“We are trying to find revenues for the system that will have a minimal element of justice. The options are limited. Some type of tax on transactions, if it is well-planned, cannot be ruled out,” the minister told Real FM, adding that a similar tax on large transactions has been imposed in other European countries.

Commenting on non-performing loans, he said that the government will submit a new law before February 15 that will exclude three types of loans from being sold to private funds–mortgage loans on main residence, loans of small and medium-sized businesses and consumer loans.

Greek taxpayers, including individuals and businesses, continue to pile on debt to the Greek state, as newly released data by the General Secretariat of Public Revenue revealed that overdue tax payments increased by €1.453 billion in the month of November alone.

Since the beginning of the year overdue payments to the state have risen by €11.833 billion. Out of these outstanding €11.833 billion, Greek authorities have managed to collect €1.795 billion while they have erased €222 million of debt.

In combination with the “old” overdue payments, whereby old designate those debts that were accumulated before the beginning of 2015, the Greek state is being owed €83.6 billion.

Meanwhile, there have been 13,527 reported cases of overdue payments of over €50,000 in 2015 that could face charges of money laundering.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party ‘New Democracy’ on Tuesday accused the government of obsession, inability and irrelevance following the publication of the data regarding the new overdue tax debt to the state.  

“Until a few days ago, the Syriza-Anel coalition government celebrated because tax revenues increased and individuals’ debt to the state was contained,” New Democracy said “while the figures for the period January-November 2015 showed a spike of overdue debts,” it added.