19 September 2012
The Greek government has rejected an offer by an unidentified whistle-blower to buy CD discs with names of tax evaders stolen by dishonest Swiss bankers, arguing it would constitute an act of “industrial espionage”. Thus, Greece is refusing to follow the example of Germany and other countries that bought several CD discs from Swiss whistleblowers in order to recover due taxes from their citizens. Warsaw daily Rzeczpospolita notes that “it is not a secret that for many years Greeks have deposited billions of euro in Swiss accounts”. According to Swiss broker company Helvea, the amount in question could be as high as 20 billion euros. Rzeczpospolita adds that –
The Greek revenue hasn’t the slightest idea about 99% of this money. So if that sum could be taxed once Greece and Switzerland signs a tax agreement, it could provide the Greek budget with at least 4 billion euro.
An agreement currently being negotiated by Athens would provide that deposits of Greek citizens in Swiss banks be taxed between 19% and 34% (depending on their duration) with the collected taxes then being transferred to the Greek revenue office. Recently, Germany, Austria and Britain have signed similar tax treaties with Switzerland