We had a deluge yesterday – unusual for this time of year, but extremely providential, as it helped control a huge forest fire. These are the bane of Greek summers, so the water, in spite of causing some damage, was appreciated. At the same time – much less appreciated – we have a deluge of taxes pouring down on us: new taxes, as well as increases in old ones. More are expected (threatened?) in September.
There is a saying ‘Ουκ αν λάβοις παρά του μη έχοντος’ (you can’t take from him who does not have) – a little like ‘You cannot get blood from a stone’. It’s a mythological reference to Charon, who was the ferryman in Hades, carrying the souls of the deceased from one bank of the river Styx to the other. His fee was one obolus, and a coin was placed under the tongues of the dead, so that they would be able to pay him. But I digress. My point is that people are at the end of their tether – they have no more money.
Fact: 20,000 businesses will close in the next six months – we are quite a small economy, and that is on top of the many thousands that have already closed since the crisis started. How come the eggheads in Brussels don’t understand that if they don’t restart the economy they’ll never get their money back? Our government doesn’t seem to get it, either.
Fact: A lot of taxpayers are getting advice from their accountants to close their books or else they’ll be forced to close up shop. This is especially true in the case of professionals and freelancers like physiotherapists, masseurs, dog trainers, hairdressers, small shop owners and the like. Many are being forced into the ‘black economy’.
Fact: the new laws that are meant to alleviate matters for the less well-off result in the following logistics:
Someone whose income is €30.000 but declares €10.000, receives child support and the right to send one child to daycare for free. His disposable income after tax is €26.657,9.
Someone whose income is €30.000 and declares €30.000, receives no child support and has to pay for daycare. His disposable income after tax is €13.543,4 i.e. half of the evader’s.
Fact: in spite of the increase in taxation, the total of taxes collected keeps decreasing. Does this have anything at all to do with the above?(duh…)
Those who, for reasons of honesty or because they can’t do otherwise, pay their taxes, end up also paying for the rest. At the same time, the state is happily robbing a good part of the population, by not paying what it owes them while refusing to offset what they owe with what they are owed.
Fact: A lot of Greeks cannot afford to go on holiday once again this year, as seen by hotel bookings. So it is left to foreign tourists to enjoy the island life…
PS. I made a cheerful drawing, since my subject matter is so depressing…