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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-01-25

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] New drive against tax evasion in Greece
  • [02] Thessaloniki event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

  • [01] New drive against tax evasion in Greece

    Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Thursday announced the formation of a National Commission to combat tax evasion in Greece. He also promised stiffer penalties for tax-dodgers and crooked tax officials, as well as incentives for tax payers to demand receipts.

    Presenting the plan, the Greek minister said tax evasion was not a clever thing, it was an anti-social behaviour that should be avoided. Alogoskoufis said all trade and employers' unions would participate in an effort to change a prevailing view over tax evasion among citizens.

    The Greek minister noted that one in two self employed declared earnings less than the average income of wage earners, while one-fourth of the same category declared less earnings than the average income of pensioners. Alogoskoufis said that 60 percent of self-employed declared earnings equal to the average wage in the country.

    If the self-employment yielded so little income, there should be more self-employed switching to salaried employment that was not evident, the minister pointed out.

    Stressing that tax-evasion was a "perennial problem of Greek society" that persisted for decades because of a lack of determination, consistency and continuity in policies against it, Alogoskoufis said that the government's central target was to change attitudes toward tax-evasion among the general public, announcing that a publicity campaign on this issue is being prepared.

    According to Deputy Finance Minister Antonis Bezas, the government in recent years had succeeded in increasing revenues by clamping down on tax evasion through inspections and other measures. As an example, he noted a 12% increase in revenue from VAT in 2006 relative to 2005, a rate of increase that was significantly higher than the rate of GDP growth.

    [02] Thessaloniki event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

    Greece's Jewish communities, the ancient Romaniote and the Ladino-speaking Sephardim communities, today number approximately 10,000 members, of whom 1,500 live in Thessaloniki, Jewish Community of Thessaloniki president David Saltiel said on Thursday, days before the annual national commemoration in remembrance of the Greek Jews that died during the Holocaust.

    Thessaloniki's Prefecture and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki are jointly organising several events to commemorate the Holocaust on Jan. 28 and Jan. 29 in Thessaloniki -- the Macedonia region's historic capital and a metropolis that for centuries hosted the largest Sephardic community in the world.

    Thessaloniki's Jewish population, which numbered up to 60,000 people before WWII, painstakingly rebuilt synagogues and other communal institutions after the devastating Nazi occupation of Greece (April 1941- October 1944), Saltiel noted on Thursday.

    Events marking the revival of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki after the Holocaust commence on Sunday with a memorial service and a wreath-laying ceremony at the city's Holocaust monument. On Monday, American Jewish Committee (AJC) executive director David Harris will address a special event at the Royal Theatre of Thessaloniki.

    Caption: Greek and Israeli officers are shown during a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the Holocaust victims and the Greek Jews that fell on the battlefied on the Albanian front (1940-1941) during WWII, at the Jewish cemetery in the northern Greek port-city of Thessaloniki, Friday, April 8, 2005. ANA/MEGAPRESS -- C. ARGYRIS.


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