Tax Havens Robbed the Greeks!

So says former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou who has accused ‘tax havens’ in the developed and developing world of hiding assets of $21trillion which were ‘stolen’ from Greek citizens and so denied governments – including his – the capacity to invest in areas like welfare and education.

Speaking in Cape Town at the opening of the Socialist International’s four-yearly conference Papandreou claims that despite his pleas to Europe, the G8, and the G20 when he was Prim Minister to change the banking system nothing was done.

Despite the EU-brokered austerity measures in February Greece’s Ministry of Finance said Greeks were still able to legally move €16bn (£12.7bn) abroad in the past two years, while admitting that their own efforts to clamp down on tax evasion had met limited success.

In the circumstances perhaps Papandreou should have used the occasion to provide some narrative about the efforts of his government to keep Greek money at home;  improve domestic tax collection and conclude bilateral agreements with so-called ‘tax havens’ to obtain information about Greeks attempting to evade tax at home.


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