German Construction Company Avoided Paying Tax in Greece
German Construction Company Avoided Paying Tax in Greece © AP Photo/ Martin Meissner
19:25 16.07.2015Get short URL
While the world’s media turned towards Greece in one of the most dramatic economic wrangles since World War II, a story published in 2014 about Germany being the biggest tax evader in Greece went untold.
In September last year, a court in Athens found that Hochtief, a German construction company running Athens International airport had avoided paying VAT for 20 years. The article appeared in New Europe and was republished by the Greek Reporter.
— The Lisburn Busker (@RamblingRingo) July 16, 2015
According to New Europe, who reported on it at the time:
“It is estimated that Hochtief, will have to pay more than $545 million (€500m) for VAT arrears. Together with other outstanding payments, like those to social security funds, it might have to pay more than $1.1 billion (€1bn).”
The article notes that “under the Troika austerity program, Greek employees lost around $436 million (€400m) from cuts to their salaries”.
The same Troika that have just forced Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to sign up to more austerity measures in return for money.
— Carmen Renieri (@RenieriArts) July 15, 2015
In a country where the banks are still shut, violent protests continue to erupt, and crowds are displeased following the Greek government’s acceptance of the creditors’ measures — including an increase in VAT — the resurfacing of a year old news story about a German company avoiding paying VAT in Greece is at Aristotelian levels of dramatic irony, in what has ultimately become a tragedy for the Greek people.