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New Book Reveals how Greek Cheated Themselves into Ruin

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posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 09:14 AM
I hope this forum is suitable for this topic. I came across this article about a book published about greek and thought to share it. There are articles in international media about is as well, although I will be translating from local news as /exit contained the most controversial items from the book.The book is called "The Full Catastrophe: Travels among the New Greek Ruins" by journalist James Angelos.

According to Angelos Zakynthos Island had about 2% of population registered as blind. Although, it came out of the 680 blind people 61 were driving a car and 498 were not blind at all, but simply had vision impairment. Being blind had its perks. 724 euro government support every two months as well as lower utility bills. All the scheme led to one eye doctor and one official and it cost the nation at least 9 million euros. Although it was just the tip of the iceberg according to Angelos after additional research

Out of the people who were disabled (on paper) and recieved benefits, 36 000 failed to come to government agencies to update their date. This could mean saving another 100 million a year.

When government started researching on people who recieved pension, 8500 of them were over 100 old, which seemed suspicious. Further investigation showed that over 40 000 pensions were based on scam and the people had not registered the death of their relatives.

Official stats show that the most wealthy part of Athens had a pool in 300 households, which was paid taxes for accordingly. When the government took a look at Google Earth, it showed the region had nearly 20 000 pools.

It is estimated that avoiding taxes costs Greece nearly 20 billion euros a year and different benefit frauds are not even counted in

Article in Estonian

DailyMail:A whole island pretending to be blind to get benefits, 8,500 pensioners who faked being aged over 100 and lawyers who claim to earn just €12,000: New book reveals how Greeks cheated THEMSELVES into ruin

As far as I have talked with different Greece people, it is clear that different taxes are avoided by majority of people, especially when it comes to self-employeed people. Government oversight to different sectors was very low, which led to high fraud rate among common people and as they were happy government corruption was high and few noticed it, as their lives were well enough. Different projects (like infra-structure) cost times as much as in different other European nations (even the ones with significantly higher cost of living). All this together led to the current situation - bankruptcy. I do not know the full story behind all this, as I have not lived in Greece myself, although after conversations from friends living there, this is pretty much the story - You can not run a welfare state if so many people avoiding paying their share for it.
edit on 7-7-2015 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 09:48 AM
Looks like people are rebelling against corrupt authoritarianism.

Does the story actually list the costs that killed the loans?

posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 10:47 AM
a reply to: Cabin

You can not run a welfare state if so many people avoiding paying their share for it.

I completely agree, I hope that everybody looks closely at Greece. People around the world may just be able to learn from their mistakes.

From my perspective, I don't give the welfare state a chance even if it could be paid for.

posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 11:01 AM
I have a LOT of Greek friends and i love greece and its people with all my heart. Its like a second home to me. But i went there for holidays five years in a row in the 90s and many times since before the crisis.....and i have to say that i very very rarely got a receipt for anything. My Greek best mate told me that a lot of greeks avoid paying their taxes, thats why.

So, yes, very sad, but it is kind of their fault.

posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 01:21 PM
People will only pay their fair share for so long before they start to resent it particularly when they see that the system itself is corrupt.

I'll bet that Greece also has thriving black and gray markets. Even where they aren't supposed to exist, free markets will find a way.

posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 01:40 PM
From what I understand, 50% of Greece's debt is military expenditures. Money loaned to them from countries selling military hardware in order for Greece to buy that hardware from them. These countries also bribed the Greek officials (kickbacks) for these weapons contracts. And Goldman Sachs knowingly lied about Greece's ability to cover these loans in order to get them approved. So how is this the people's debt? Sounds like odious debt to me. When us and UK debt comes calling and the people are expected to pay the final bill for their leaders corruption our situation will make Greece look like heaven.

posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 01:48 PM

posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 01:47 AM
Unfortunately tax avoidance is a growing problem everywhere, Apple pays no tax here in Australia. When billionaires like Warren Buffet pay less tax than their secretaries and are proud of it what example does it set?

I know I can go down the shops and steal what ever I like, but I don't. I think hospitals, schools, roads and emergency services are a good thing and I am happy to support them where I can.

With the current dramas in Greece, it is one area that needs some work.
edit on 8-7-2015 by kwakakev because: added last sentence.

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