A large part of the financial mess that is Greece is the result of the Greek people making an art form of tax avoidance. The black economy has run riot for years and income tax for many outside the bloated ranks of the public service appears to have been an optional extra. Yet despite this terrible record, the politicians from the European countries drawing up the plans to prevent the total financial collapse of Greece keep assuming that the new taxes they are demanding will somehow prove different and actually be collected.

A number of articles I have read over the weekend suggest that this will prove to be wildly optimistic. Der Spiegel under the headlines We won’t pay: Greece’s Middle Class Revolt against Austerity writes of a movement of business people whose “absolute refusal to pay any taxes resembles an uprising of the ownership class, rather than the working class, a rebellion of the self-employed business owners who have long been the backbone of Greek society.”

The International Herald Tribune tells a similar story:

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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