Two tax officers, disguised as tourists, met with a Greek canteen owner in Trikala and asked to check his books. His response resembles nothing of the usual reception that tax officials have received in the past that have been a mixed combination of anxiety and fear. This time, the shop owner was brash and straight-forward. The unusual part of the video is that the tax officials came to an agreement with him and didn’t fine him the full amount required, sparking an official probe.
The General Secretary of Public Revenue George Pitsilis ordered a probe into the matter and called for the arrest of the two state employees after verifying the authenticity of the tape that was posted on social media.
The video of the arrangement between the canteen owner and tax officers went viral as the two offered to give him a break by cutting a 100-euro fine though he had not cut any receipts and his tax register was switched off. The female tax official admitted that she was aware that she was being filmed while offering the customer different options so that he could get off the hook from heavier fines.
In the video the shop owner stated the following:
“Everything is illegal.”
“The receipts are illegal, the tax offices are illegal.”
“I’m not giving you anything. Do whatever you want. Write whatever you want. I’m not cutting receipts.”
“You’re being sued for not collecting 27 bln euros owed by Artemis Sorras.”
“You also have legal responsibilities.”
“What’s my violation? Collaborating with you even though I believe you are occupation forces.”
“You go to shops and people have strokes and heart attacks.”
“I’m shaking, I want to grab you…”
“If something bad happens to me at this moment, I’ll take it out on you.”
“Go get the 27 billion (euros).”
“Either you leave calmly or we will sue you and your assets will be bound. You’ll have trouble.”
What followed was surprising. The revenue officers started chatting and a pleasant conversation took place with the tax officers finally bargaining with him and deciding that all would end well with a small fine of around 150-200 euros. “If it’s like that, we’ll just jot down two violations, haha,” they laughed.