The government intends to activate a mechanism giving the finance ministry services access to data on deposits abroad by Greek citizens, finance minister Evangelos Venizelos said in parliament on Friday, replying to a current question by main opposition New Democracy (ND) MP Gerassimos Yiakoumatos on overseas bank accounts and inspection of "source of wealth" statements.
Venizelos warned that the finance ministry was in a position, following the abolition of the confidentiality of bank accounts, to be informed of money transfers abroad, and will summon those depositors to declare their data.
At the same time, the ministry is also in a position to proceed with cross-checks of interest paid on deposits abroad but also from the use of credit cards in banks abroad.
"This is an opportunity for everyone who thinks they may have a discrepancy with the tax authorities to come and submit that information, because the data is accessible to the finance ministry and inspections will be conducted," he warned, stressing that fulfillment of one's tax obligations but also support of the Greek banking system -- not for the banks and businessmen, but in a way that will be to the benefit of the citizens -- is an elementary patriotic duty.
Venizelos also took the opportunity to announce that the finance ministry has succeeded in clearing up the "mountain" of overdue debts to the state, that amount to 42 billion euros.
Of that amount, 37 billion euros are owed by 14,000 physical and legal entities. the number of which, after clearance (deceased, etc.), total 10,000. The remaining 4 billion euros (of the 42 billion total) are owed by 890,000 taxpayers. The ministry will focus the inspection on the 10,000 entities that account for the major volume of the overdue debts, the minister explained.