01 November 2012

GREECE / EU / GERMANY / SWITZERLAND : 02 Nov UPDATE: Tax Cheat Lists Plentiful...But NO Action; Acquittal!! In Athens Trial Over Journalist Leaks Of Swiss Bank Names; Professionals Flaunt Greek Tax Laws.


       Many Germans, Finns and the euroskeptics are still shaking their heads in disbelief...and disgust over massive Greek tax evasion.
      But Athens prosecutors...who rushed thru the trial of journalist Costas Vaxevanis for publishing the names of more than 2,000 Greeks with secret accounts at Swiss bank HSBC in his magazine Hot Doc...have been defeated.
     Vaxevanis has been acquitted...in the one day trial.
     The courtroom packed with journalists...erupted in cheers and applause.
     In August 2010...French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde released the names to Athens...but officials there never followed up on possible tax evasion.
     But...German and French authorities did investigate the so-called 'Lagarde list'.
     Athens officials claimed there is no proof the 2,059 Greeks had broken the law.
     Vaxevanis, 46...was tried for breaking a privacy law...and faced up to 2 years.
     Ordinary Greek citizens have grown angrier over more and more austerity measures... that require new bailouts...as the nation struggles thru its 5th year of recession.
     Tax evasion by the rich and ruling elites is a serious problem in Greece...and Vaxevanis insisted that the government and media have ignored it.
  !!! NEWEST LINK!!!: Brief history of alleged tax evaders lists. At least 5 lists exist...but there is little action...except for gossip and rumors.

  AND: A small number of wealthy Greek ship owners are still fighting to keep their tax free status enshrined in the constitution. 
     Doctors, lawyers and engineers are especially successful in avoiding Greek taxes.
     Factoid: Just 200 Greeks report incomes over 500,000 euros!