The Greek Government have appointed a former Lehman IT specialist with the difficult task of modernizing Greece’s tax system, which is at the core of the massive tax evasion.
Harry Theoharis was appointed Secretary General for Public Revenue — a powerful job Athens created at the behest of its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders. His job is to rid the tax service of political meddling and remove underperforming officials as part of reforms prescribed in the bailout deal keeping Greece afloat.
It will be interesting to see if this new approach by Greece bears fruit.
Previously as chief of the finance ministry’s data service, he introduced innovations such online payment of road taxes. An avid user of Twitter — where he described himself as the IT monkey — he tweets taxpayers at one in the morning and yet appears clean-shaven on TV talk shows six hours later.
“The budget and the bailout plan are setting clear targets. Everybody will be measured against them, every quarter,” Theoharis said in an interview at his modest office in the finance ministry.
His appointment shows a realization that computerizing the antiquated, paper-based tax administration is the way to cross-check scattered data and help to uncover large-scale tax fraud.
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