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Greek Top Tax Investigator Lekkas Agrees with IMF's CEO Lagarde on Tax Evasion

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde was right to urge Greeks to pay their taxes since that could help solve Athens’ current difficulties, the country’s top tax investigator stated today, Friday June 8th, in regard to the recent IMF chief’s statements-mandates.
Lagarde’s statements raised great dispute among the already dissatisfied Greeks who are tired of listening to Europe and the IMF saying they must try harder and harder and pay even more taxes.
“I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. Lagarde,” the head of the Greek tax authority SDOE, Nikos Lekkas, told German daily “Die Welt”.
“Tax evasion in Greece amounts to 12-15 percent of gross domestic product. That’s 40-45 billion euros each year. If we could raise even just half of that, Greece’s problems would be solved,” Lekkas said.
But there has to be the political will to achieve that, he added. “Our politicians have begun to understand this,” Lekkas said.
In an uncompromising interview published by The Guardian newspaper last month, Lagarde said she had little sympathy with the Greek people — preferring to concern herself with the plight of starving children in Africa’s Sahel region.
“I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time,” she said. “All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax.”
She said the Greeks could help themselves “by all paying their taxes,” remarks that incensed many Greeks and led to 10,000 messages, many obscene, being posted on Lagarde’s Facebook page. She then tried to soothe reactions by publicly apologizing for her inappropriate statements. That didn’t make Mr Lekkas disagree about her recent statement with regards to Greek tax evasion, as he found it realistic and correct.

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