Greek government to raffle off luxury cars to taxpayers
Greece is preparing a new scheme that it hopes will stop citizens from avoiding tax, by raffling off luxury cars that have been repossessed during the economic crisis.
The former pride and joys of wealthy tax-dodgers will be given away, via a prize draw, to struggling citizens.
Greek newspapers reported that high-end luxury cars including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Jaguars and Mercedes will be given away this summer to those who submit their tax receipts and invoices.
Of course, owning a premium vehicle comes with the burden of high taxes and insurance costs, but it is the value of the prize itself that Greek officials hope will help stamp out black-market trading, where a sum of money is passed to officials in a 'little envelope' to secure permits and avoid certain taxation.
According to some estimates, a massive 23.6 per cent of the Greek economy is made up of black-market trading.
This scheme isn't a new idea: Slovakia, Taiwan, and Puerto Rico, already have similar incentives in place to encourage citizens to trade legally. Portugal also recently followed suit.
Friedrich Schneider, a professor specialising in shadow economies at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, told the Bloomberg newswire : "It's a smart move because it offers rewards to those who follow the law instead of punishing those who break it."
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, head of administrative reform in Greece, said: "It is better to give the cars to the citizens rather than let them rust at Greece's Organisation of Public Materials Management."
Author: Danielle Bagnall