Dr. Labros Chatziz, president of the Hellenic Community (In Ireland) and co-owner of the River Medical Group was on The Business this morning discussing the growing financial crisis in Greece and the Irish government’s negotiations in Europe.
The presenter, George Lee, put it to Dr. Chatzis, that tax evasion was rampant in Greece.
Yes, tax evasion is a national sport. Unfortunately, the only people who are paying tax in Greece are people on salaries; all the professions are tax evaders.
George didn’t intervene here to say that the situation is the same in Ireland, he allowed the doctor to continue.
I’m ashamed to say you have doctors, like me, who have been declaring €10,000 income for the past ten years. When the taxman went in they found yachts, swimming pools and mansions.
Again, George didn’t intervene here to say that the situation is worse in Ireland because ordinary and long suffering taxpayers are still waiting for the taxman to act against the rich tax evaders.
But this is done by everybody in Greece. It’s the mentality and this is the big difference with Ireland. In Ireland it’s not like that.
Once again, George didn’t intervene to say that the mentality is exactly the same in Ireland; that Ireland is exactly like Greece.
Instead George went on to advise the doctor that his country will have to end its culture of tax evasion and added, that it’s not a banking crisis his country is suffering from but a fiscal crisis.
Clearly, George is of the same mind as the Minister for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton. He seems to believe that Ireland is a normal functional state that just happens to be suffering from a temporary banking crisis.
The doctor went on to explain how the already severe austerity measures were being imposed on people who were already paying high taxes.
They’re squeezed even more; I can’t believe how much more they can give. Now you will be taxed for the size of the house you live in on top of the stamp duty.
And that’s just driving them nuts, said George, helpfully, without the slightest hint that he was aware of the raft of similar taxes about to be imposed on ordinary Irish taxpayers.