Wall Street Journal
February 28, 2013
Greece's international creditors have issued a new warning about the country's lagging tax reform efforts, ahead of a visit by a troika of budget inspectors and as data show tax collection is again falling short of target.
A 72-page report prepared by the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, and distributed by a Greek tax-collectors group, paints a damning picture of Greece's deeply dysfunctional and creaking tax system, describing it as inadequate, prone to political manipulation and graft, and struggling with aging, understaffed and poorly trained personnel.
The report notes that more than half of tax collectors are above the age of 50, were poorly paid and missing basic skills, and lacked the necessary legal support to carry out their jobs. In a sign of the broader dysfunction in the service, it cited several cases where personnel had been internally reassigned to new positions but were given neither a desk nor a computer for work.