The Greek government published a list of the country’s worst tax evaders on Sunday, after months of warning those same evaders to pay up or risk being named and shamed.
The list comprises 4,152 debtors who each owe more than 150,000 Euros to the Greek Treasury, with a total debt of 14.877 billion Euros. The list only includes individuals who have not yet entered into any payment arrangement. Although the list was compiled in November 2011 the authorities required clearance from the Hellenic Data Protection authority before they could make the information public.
The list includes a wide swathe of businessmen--some of whom have already been convicted for other financial crimes. For example, topping the list is Nikos Kassimatis, an accountant from Thessaloniki with a tax debt of 952 million Euros, who has been previously convicted of tax-related crimes.
In September 2011, the finance ministry released the names of 6.000 companies and organizations that owed more than 30 billion Euros in unpaid taxes. The list included several state-owned enterprises, as well many businesses, which have ceased operations.
In May 2010, Greece narrowly avoided default with the help of a 110 Euro billion bailout from its fellow Euro-zone partners and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for measures to bring down its deficit and overhaul its economy.
However, lagging tax receipts and widespread tax evasion have dogged those efforts, with Greece failing to meet budget deficit targets last year for the third year in a row.