There are many Greeks from abroad as well as foreigners who criticize the attitude of Greek society to refuse to pay taxes. It may seem incomprehensible to citizens of other countries who see their taxes produce schools, hospitals, health care, old age care, infrastructure and all these amenities that reward a good citizen,  that we refuse to pay taxes or excel at tax evasion. Coming from a different country I was also surprised at first. But, when one starts listening to the simple people’s suffering due to the inefficiency of the state administration, when one sees the misery state indifference causes it becomes very hard not to commiserate.

Why pay taxes when the only hospital in Ikaria, a north Aegean island,  (built with money sent by the Ikariotes abroad and not by any government) is closing down?

Why pay taxes when the port in Othonoi, a small island near Corfu, is not usable and the fishermen lose their boats every now and then when the sea recedes.

Why pay taxes when, in today’s situation, scandals break out, with bankers lending money to their friends who in turn never return them and disappear.

Why pay taxes when one of the main road arteries, linking Corinth to Patras, is proclaimed death row and the tolls are exorbitant.

Why pay taxes when buses in Athens have no regular timetable and sometimes take as long as forty minutes to appear..

For those of you who can understand Greek I suggest you watch Mr. Manessis programe “60 minutes of Greece” on Alfa tv

http://www.alphatv.gr/shows/informative/60-ellada/webtv/shows

to learn how Greece survives outside Athens.

I do not claim that Greek society is innocent of all blame. We are guilty of having allowed politicians of the parties that have ruled the country to govern us without interference and without control. We are guilty of being naïve, gullible and easily led.

The main deficit in Greece is good governance. Till then I cannot, in good conscience, blame anyone for not paying taxes….