ATHENS – With Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras saying he would go after oligarchs and tax cheats, his government instead is seizing bank accounts of small debtors and threatening them.
Kathimerini said that in one case the government confiscated 200 euros from the bank account of a man who didn’t owe anything. His account had been frozen and then reopened after it was discovered he wasn’t a debtor.
In several cases, including that of a citizen with a debt of 24,000 euros, bailiffs are said to have used threats to secure the cash.
That comes as tax cheats owing scores of billions of euros and hiding money in secret foreign accounts continue to largely escape prosecution.
The crackdown on the small fish comes as the government is running out of money and trying to get release of international loans it had vowed to refuse.
Successive governments have made virtually no progress in going after major tax evaders it has identified on a list of Greeks with 1.5 billion euros in the Geneva branch of HSBC and as progress lags in the case.