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Four thousand Greeks owe fifteen billion euro

23 January 2012 / 15:01:08  GRReporter
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The Ministry of Finance announced the names of the largest debtors to the Greek state. According to it, 4,151 people owe 15 billion euro or 7% of the gross domestic product. The long list contains the debtors’ names, tax numbers and their total obligations to tax and customs departments.

Among them are the names of George Koskotas, his brother, Stavros, the former owner of the insurance company Aspis Pavlos Psomiadis, the owner of Express service Ioannis Raptopoulos, the former head of the PAOK football club George Batatoudis, the basketball player Michael Misounov, the singer Tolis Voskopoulos and many others. They all owe the state amounts between 172,000 and 952 million euro.

First on the list is the accountant Nikolaos Kasimatis from Thessaloniki. He was involved in the affair of illegal VAT returns of almost 60 million euro by the owners of fictional companies that had declared fictitious imports of goods. The accountant’s debts reached 952 million euro and he is currently in jail. Next is Evangelos Siembos with debts amounting to 320.69 million euro, and third is Eleni Karidopoulou, whose debts are 239.9 million euro.

Fifteen Greeks owe the state over 100 million each. Their total obligations amount to 3.2 billion. Another fifteen owe between 50 and 100 million euro. The sum of their duties is 916,230,000 euro. Sixty-four "taxpayers" owe from 25 to 50 million euro. They "saved" the treasury 2.22 billion euro. Between 10 and 25 million euro or 2.89 billion in total are the obligations of 182 people. The obligations of 1,467 people are between 1 and 10 million euro or 4.46 billion euro totally.

The communication of the financial institution states that the list does not include the names of large debtors who have begun to pay the amounts due. Amounts, which are the subject of court dispute, obligations of poor people, minors and deceased citizens are not announced.

Sources indicate that dozens of debtors are subject to police investigation for involvement in criminal acts. Authorities believe that one of the fifteen persons owing more than 100 million euro is the boss of the mafia of real estate trade. Others have already become residents of prisons for financial and other crimes. The most striking example among them is the accountant Nikolaos Kasimatis, who is serving a long sentence.

The tax obligations of the owner of Express service Ioannis Raptopoulos amount to 14.3 million euro. Sami Fais, who was charged with activities with the shares of the company Makedoniki klostiriya, owes 1.82 million. The former basketball ace Michael Misounov owes 614,000 euro.

The former "strong man" of Aspis Group Pavlos Psomiadis, who is in custody for fraud to the detriment of the customers of the insurance company owes 1.15 million euro.

The obligation of the former owner of the PAOK football club George Batatoudis is 2.5 million euro and of the Koskotas brothers - 4.38 million euro. George Koskotas was the leading figure in the scandal over the Kritis Bank in the 1990s and president of the Olympiakos football club. His brother Stavros was his "right hand" while he was at the forefront of the team.

The famous singer Tolis Voskopoulos has agreed to gradually pay his obligations to the state, which exceed the amount of 5 million euro. That is why, according to the list, he owes 515,000 euro. GRReporter recalls that the revelation that he has "forgotten" for years to meet his tax obligations forced his wife Angela Gerekou to resign from the post of deputy Minister of Culture in the government of George Papandreou.

According to analysts, the announcement of the list and its publication on the website of the Ministry of Finance is related to the communication campaign of the government and Minister Evangelos Venizelos in particular, who is the main contender for leadership in PASOK. They comment that it is not very likely that the amounts will be collected.

Tags: EconomyFinanceTax obligationsList of debtors
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