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The Independent: "Greece Unable to Collect €12.6 billion Fines Due to Lack of Staff"

It used to be exciting to be in the center of attention, but it’s mostly unpleasant when others keep pointing out your malfunctions and deficiencies.  Greece’s finances are the main subject of a late Independent article, according to which our country proved incapable of collecting fines due to staff shortages.
The Greek government has been unable to collect €12.6bn in court-ordered tax fines because it has cut too many staff, is the introductory sentence of the article.
The Independent used an article released from newspaper Kathimerini, citing data posted on the website of the Finance Ministry’s General Secretariat of Information Systems.
“As Greece struggles with an unemployment rate of 22.6%, the country’s tax collection mechanism has only managed to take in €630m – 4.77% of the total €13.2bn fines – due to being understaffed and the absence of electronic applications,” the story reads.
“The court orders came about after some taxpayers disputed the fines imposed by the mechanism. There are currently more than 180,000 outstanding tax cases in the Greek courts. But while Athens had intended to have 50% of the pending cases heard by last month and 80% by the end of December, ministry data indicate that only 2.1% of cases made it to court in the first half of the year,” Kathimerini claimed.
The Independent also focuses on planned privatizations saying that: “When privatizations of ports, airports, former Olympic sites and utilities began in 2010, hopes were that they would raise €50bn, but now the government expects just €15bn by 2015.”
The article also refers to the “notorious phrase by  new finance minister Yannis Stournaras, who also admitted that the country is ‘off-track’ in meeting the conditions of its bailout agreements.”
“The country will run out of cash within weeks if it fails to secure the next €31.5bn installment of bailout funds,” concludes journalist Andrew Trotman.

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