Moscow. On 8 February. The budget is suffering from the crisis Greece loses about 670 million euros a year due to smuggled cigarettes, it is more than that the government of Alexis Tsipras expects to squeeze in the course of the pension reform, according to Bloomberg. If we add to this the tax loss from illegal alcohol and fuel, as well as a casino operating without a license, it turns out that Greece loses more than 1 billion euros under the most modest calculations.
According to Philip Morris, the Greeks, the most inveterate smokers among Europeans, every year I smoke about 4 billion illegal cigarettes. Fake packs are in Greece about 1.5 euros, which is two times cheaper than legal cigarettes. Cigarettes are shipped mainly from China, in addition, illegal tobacco supply Greeks Egypt and Pakistan. Some sellers and even sell loose tobacco, including the Internet, for pounds they are asking for only 25 euros.
Despite the fact that legal cigarettes in Greece are cheaper than in most EU countries, 20% of all sales are black market, according to marketing company Nielsen
If with every fake packs of 20 cigarettes charged the government owed him 85% tax, it would bring the budget to about 670 euros that could be spent on pensions and other social payments, says Kangaroos Iakovos, Vice-President of the largest distributor of cigarettes Greece, Papastratos, an affiliate with Philipp Morris.
For comparison – the Tsipras government is planning this year to get 600 million euros, increasing pension contributions. This initiative of the Ministry of Finance, as always, turned into protests across the country.
Greece could get twice as much if instead of cutting the pensions of old women, would deal with taxes that are not paid by the tobacco people, moonshiners, gas stations and casinos, according to experts interviewed by Bloomberg.
For example, each year the Greeks drink about 24 million litres of tsipouro, a traditional Greek brandy, which is also not taxed. As a result, the budget loses another 200 million euros. Exactly the same amount – 200 million euros – the government does not receive because of fuel smuggling. As for the casino, then the loss rate is very difficult because hundreds of thousands of Greeks use the services of illegal online casinos which do not contribute in the leaky state budget a penny.
Earlier the European Commission urged Greece to improve the plan of pension reform to continue the program of financial assistance and debt relief to the country. Pension reform is one of the most difficult issues in the negotiations of Greece and international lenders. The Minister of labour and social security of the country George Katrougalos said that the country will not allow further cuts in basic pensions.
Meanwhile, the IMF still refuses to participate in the third package of financial assistance to Greece, as it believes that the economic potential of the country should be strengthened, and the total amount of debt is stable. According to the Foundation, these conditions have not been met.