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Friday, June 30, 2017

Greece: Overtaxed Or Undertaxed?

The Ekathimerini reports that Greeks work 203 days per year to pay taxes. Only the French and the Belgians have to work even more days only to pay taxes. No question about it: Greeks are extremely highly taxed.

Another way of looking at it would be the per capita government revenues, which are listed below for Eurozone countries:

Per Capita
Luxembourg 40.186
Finland 21.092
Austria 19.728
Belgium 18.997
Netherlands 18.081
France 17.633
Germany 17.175
Ireland 15.336
Italy 13.012
Spain 9.081
Malta 8.940
Slovenia 8.407
Cyprus 8.277
Greece 7.956
Portugal  7.409
Estonia 6.464
Slovakia 5.951
Lithuania 4.674
Latvia 4.641

There, Greeks rank at the lower end of Eurozone countries. Does that mean that Greeks pay very low taxes? No! Because taxes per capita would have to be put in relation to income per capita.

While GDP is not the same as total taxable income, it is a yardstick by which to compare the national taxation burden:

% of GDP
Finland 54,2%
France 53,0%
Belgium 50,8%
Greece 49,7%
Austria 49,5%
Italy 47,1%
Germany 45,0%
Netherlands 43,7%
Slovenia 43,6%
Luxembourg 42,7%
Portugal  41,4%
Estonia 40,7%
Slovakia 40,0%
Cyprus 39,2%
Spain 37,9%
Latvia 36,4%
Lithuania 34,5%
Ireland 27,5%

Here, Greece ranks among the top-5 of all Eurozone countries. Obviously, a very high level of taxation. But then, again, the question would what the tax payers get in return for the taxes they pay.

Bottom line: it is very difficult to answer the question who pays more or less taxes. But one thing seems to be certain about Greeks: those who pay taxes spend a very large amount of their income on taxes. And those who cheat with taxes spend a very small amount of their income on taxes.

All clear?


  1. What is the purpose of paying taxes to support the government of an occupied country? Are you suggesting we need to side with the enemy? Why would we ever do this?

  2. @kleingut:
    Quote: "those who pay taxes spend a very large amount of their income on taxes. And those who cheat with taxes spend a very small amount of their income on taxes."

    Simply math, the former pay for the latter.


    1. Come and fix it if you can. If you can't then begin to admire it because it's not going to change just because lake Zurich likes quotes.

    2. @ Lazy tax dodging Phoevos:

      Why should I? It’s your mess and it’s your job to fix it.


    3. And lazy tax dodging Phoevos says to Urs: Make me.

    4. Quote: "And lazy tax dodging Phoevos says to Urs: Make me."

      I had to look that up and lo and behold over at they not only know the term but they even know the geezers who use it. Look:

      make me!

      A phrase often mutterd by stupid people after telling them to move, shut up, or any other command.

      Me:Hey, can you please quiet down, im trying to watch the movie.

      Stupid person:Make me!

      by Corey December 20, 2003


    5. Urs:

      You don't have the power to make Greeks do anything. If you think otherwise then prove it.

    6. Nobody has the power. That’s why Greece and the Greeks are in such a mess and that’s why they can’t help themselves and cry like little children.


    7. Urs:

      I am going to do you a favor for one time only. The purpose of this blog has no meaning. Greek behavior will never change because it's a well practice method of survival. See if you can use English language caption to understand what this guy is saying. Once you understand you will never again raise the questions you ask about Greece and the Greeks:

      This applies to Kleingut as well because observing Greece is meaningless. We already have a plan and we are executing it. See if you can figure it out what it is.

  3. "Bottom line: it is very difficult to answer the question who pays more or less taxes. But one thing seems to be certain about Greeks: those who pay taxes spend a very large amount of their income on taxes. And those who cheat with taxes spend a very small amount of their income on taxes.

    All clear?"

    Let me make it more clear for a descendant of the Habsburg tyranny.

    For those Greeks who willingly made themselves German slaves they need to be worked to death in paying taxes to their occupier because they truly deserve it. For the rest of us we must use every trick in the book for tax avoidance because smart citizens never feed the beast of occupation because if they do then the brutality of occupation increases.

    Patriotism lesson 101.

    But here is a clever solution for you Kleingut. Since you know many of the hypocrites of Nea Tromoktatia who wish to have a change of government for the primary reason of lowering their taxes why don't you persuade them instead to open up their wallets because they are the ones who wish to "stay in Europe" and be the german model slaves of driving their country to ruins (which their party has already done many times over).

  4. Kleingut:

    Of course you know already that what you speak of is uber nonsense on the topic of taxation.

    And here is why:

    In the United States if a family makes $35,000 or less a year, it is assumed to be below poverty line and does not even have to file taxes.

    In stupid occupied Greece we spent more than half a year negotiating with the IMF and the Berlin morons whether the poverty line for a family is below 6400 euros per year or the 9000 euros it used to be. Good luck solving Greece's problems by taxing the poor.

    Another obsession that European morons have with my country is that if we round up the shipowners and other wealthy somehow we solved the taxation revenue issue. Well, let's do the math. Say you find 100 wealthy Greek families and by some tweaking of the tax code you bleed them 1 Million euro tax revenue each (because those poor fellows have no laweys at all and would rather give you 1 Million instead of 200000 euros to their lawyer to defend them every step of the way). So you now have 100 Mil. more a year to spend on what exactly? This is what it costs you to pick trash for a few weeks or months. Beyond the symbolic value of such tax eagerness the substantive value is minimal. So what are you people talking about? Whom do you want to tax and why? Are you suggesting taxing the unborn?

  5. Mr. Kastner,

    As an employee of the private sector, as do the public sector employees and pensioners, we have to pay our taxes. We have no choice as everything is declared. Along the same lines run the mid to large Greek corporations. These categories are the categories which can not hide any taxation. Where we can cheat is when buying goods and negotiate better prices outside of the large commercial chains. And between each other and finally freelancers or small businesses and farmers. In these categories there is a lot of lee way, but do they have a choice in any case?

    There are many non Greek bloggers here who frown on tax evasion in Greece but what they don't understand is the need for it for survivability. If you are law abiding 100% you will simply go out of business.

    Sometimes it pisses me off because i have no choice, nor does my father who collects rent, but there is understanding. I certainly do not agree with PHOEVOS, that we should blatantly evade paying taxes as that is un healthy as well. There should be a positive balance.

    Where Phoevos, is 100% Correct is the taxing of where the poverty line is. This is a joke.

    So As to sum it up, pay taxes or tax evade, in moderation. :-)


    1. V:

      If you had the chance to watch the Nikos Lygeros video then you would understand what I am trying to say, which is:

      1. Greeks don't need the kratos (state), they never did. It's a question of survival over the ages and obeying the kratos is a recipe for assimilation and eventual extinction.

      2. Trying to import models of tax compliance from abroad or any models of governance from the so-called "Europe" is an exercise in futility and leads to nowhere. So does "observing Greece" because the only conclusion of observation is that Greeks don't like to be told what to do because they have survived so far by following an entirely different model. In other words, the empirical evidence is absent in importing foreign models which nothing more than original Greek ideas adopted by others but in an imperfect way.

      3. Greeks are people of the sea. Our fortunes are based on our ships that are in constant movement around the globe and outside any foreign power's jurisdiction. Our ships are not subject to the Greek kratos either and there are very good reasons why so.

      4. In the end, all attempts to reform Greece according to inferior European models will fail. It's just a matter of time and we are trained to wait for centuries if necessary. That's the thing about Greeks; we know that all invasions against us are doomed to failure and for that, we rejoice quietly and resolutely.

      This is what Kleingut and you have to understand. You offer nothing to the Greeks by either observing us, advising us or suggesting to us. None of such makes any difference to us. We have made up our minds on such matters over millennia.