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Κυριακή, 12 Αυγούστου 2018

"In post-memorandum period will not be all good in Greece!"

Article of VASSILIS KORKIDIS

In 10 days, our country formally leaves a long 9-year memorandum period, leaving behind 924,000 unemployed, 250,000 businesses put in a padlock and salaried, retired and professional to have overdue debts to tax authorities, insurance funds and banks 227 billion euro. During the memorandums, each government attempted to impose the so-called tax levy to achieve the much-needed fiscal consolidation and surpluses required. However, the dramatic reduction in incomes has led to a contraction in consumption, with direct and indirect taxes on state funds being lower than in the pre-season. It is characteristic that in 2016 the income tax amounted to 18 billion euros and in 2017 to 20 billion euros, when in 2010 the state funds were almost 18.7 billion euros. In doing so, one should take very seriously account of the extensive tax evasion and tax evasion that affects both State revenues. Tax arrears in the first half of 2018 have already exceeded 5.1 billion euros, and therefore the remaining questions are two, on the one hand, whether households have the money to pay, and on the other hand if businesses have received what they are due to pay "memorandum taxes" on time. In a sample of 251,000 businesses, 158,000 are either loss-making or have no earnings and only 1 in 10 have earnings over 60,000 euros. More specifically, 4 out of 10 businesses are loss-making, 5 out of 10 have zero or very small profits, while certified corporate taxes amount to 4.27 billion euros. At an individual level, 4 out of 10 taxpayers with a debit statement will pay an increased tax this year up to 40%, while 2 out of 10 double the tax.

I think it is very premature to be complacent by those involved in small and medium-sized enterprises and it would be a tragic mistake to conclude that it was difficult to get through, since the real economy has shown signs of improvement in some sectors but is still vulnerable to internal and external risks.

Already in the first ten days of August sales of stores are at a low level as 2.5 million taxpayers had to pay at the end of July EUR 1.2 billion in income taxes. Money that is missing from the market and this is perceived by all retailers.

The Greek Confederation of Trade and Entrepreneurship considers that in the post-mortem period the reduction of taxes should be a direct priority for the Greek government's economic staff.

In this direction, and with the aim of surviving as many professionals as possible, the corporate tax should be reduced from 29% to 26% and gradually to 20%, as well as employers 'and employees' contributions to the labor market, which create an excessive non-wage cost . Also, VAT should be reduced to sectors of the economy such as tourism, catering, shipbuilding and maritime transport in order to be able to compete with colleagues in neighboring countries. In Greece, VAT has been altered and value added tax has been converted into an added tax.

The "memorial" period in Greece, as it turns out, will prove to be as difficult as the three memorandums, but let's hope it will be limited to just four years. I am very afraid that "post-mortem overestimation" will work at the expense of investment, while "memoir superpowers" will hit development.

For the real economy, a substantial exit from the memorandums should normally signal the increase in profitability of all Greek companies, the return of liquidity to the market and the end of the overtaxation on natural and legal entities.