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Greeks Are Keen on Revenge, Especially in Financial Matters

ΣΥΝΕΔΡΙΑΣΗ ΥΠΟΥΡΓΙΚΟΥ ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΙΟΥ“Our lines are currently busy. Please wait…” This is the automated message that greets you when you dial 1517, a special telephone service used to report tax evasion. In 2008, the service’s first year of operation, just 4,000 Greeks dialed 1517 to report tax evasion. But according to data collected by “Kathimerini,” 19,000 calls were made in 2010. This year, the complaint line is expected to receive 200 calls a day, or nearly 70,000 calls throughout the course of the year.
Six out of every 10 who dial 1517 are reporting siblings or other relatives for tax evasion. Experts tend to see these as acts of revenge rather than genuine attempts to help the Ministry of Finance identify tax evaders.
Divorcees wishing to embroil their former partners in a tax scandal also figure prominently among those who dial 1517.
A large percentage of complaints are also related to some form of professional rivalry. Coworkers often call 1517 to report tax evasion among fellow employees. One in five calls are made ​​by cafe owners who lodge complaints against neighborhood competition. Another 20% are employees who, after being laid off, accuse their former bosses of tax evasion.
1517 is not the only phone line for such “revenge” cases. “Revengers” are also dialing 11012, the Economic Police line, which reports approximately 50 such calls per day. Others call 10190 to report corruption allegations.
The list does not stop there, however. There are also more specialized lines: 2313-325.501 just handles complaints within the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece. There is also 1142, the infamous “health line,” used for complaints related to smoking.

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