Friday, 2 November 2012



A welcome breath of sanity in an increasingly insane world brings the acquittal of journalist Kostas Vaxevanis by an Athens court. Two weeks ago, he published a previously widely distributed list of 2,059 aristocratic Greek tax evaders with inexplicable Swiss bank accounts. The list was given to the Greek government by the French two years ago, but they hadn’t got around to reading it. The habitually very sluggish and now grossly underfunded “Justice System” leapt into action, immediately arrested the journalist, threw him into the deepest dungeon in Athens – and charged him with…  wait for it …invasion of privacy; a crime carrying long prison sentences and crippling fines. Kostas had clearly upset the top brass – who are on the whole, shy and sensitive creatures who shun publicity and daylight.

 His reasoning is that at this time when his fellow citizens are scrabbling through trash cans for food, he has a journalistic duty to tell them where their money is.  Just 2,059 offshore accounts are probably just the tip of the Greek tax-evasion iceberg. There will be about another 100,000 self-important rogues siphoning off liquidity. 

The moral and practical rationale for assuming it is legally not individuals’ but the nation’s money is that the funds are gouged from Greek businesses that rely on Greek customers regularly spending their wages in those businesses. The rogues who dip their hands into the tills have not exactly stolen the money – they might even be able to claim some title to it – but the evaders have committed criminal acts and broken civil contracts with their neighbours:

CAPITAL - First and most important – when I buy goods from a local shop, I assume the shopkeeper will recycle my money in the local community. But, in “the free markets” the modern villains don’t recycle it. They shovel it off to a tax-haven. This is tax-evading-capital-flight, which quickly bankrupts any economy. Rich Greeks have been doing it for decades.

TAXATION – Not only do they steal the full transaction value, but to do so they either simply under-record their sales, evading sales-tax and profits tax, or if they record the sale they then fabricate false invoices (for trade, interest, management fees, royalties and a host of other equally obvious false costs) sent from their tax-haven companies (or offshore subsidiary, Trust, brother-in-law, wife, mistress or pet dog) which the corrupt local tax authorities and “justice system” accept as valid and the corrupt local or international auditors certify as valid business charges. So, there is no revenue to keep the streets clean or pay the police force or fund the schools and hospitals.

BANKING – The evaders’ main criminal objectives are to hide their tracks and to rapidly gouge out the money from their neighbours into foreign banks, beyond the reach of their homeland. So they siphon it offshore to “international” banks whose headquarters are in some tacky little hole of a country that does not charge tax or ask any questions. This transfer denudes the homeland of liquidity, stops investment into local enterprises and denies jobs to the next generation. Individual criminal executives do the same sort of damage by gouging out obscene massive “bonuses”, golden hellos, golden goodbyes, supposedly untouchable pension pots, etc – and buggering off to Switzerland, The Channel Islands, Cayman or Delaware etc with their ill-gotten gains. They then have the brass-necked cheek and nerve to accuse their homeland of being lazy, unproductive and in debt – and lend us back our own money at extortionate interest rates – via The Bond Markets – the shadowy mysterious “They” who dictate terms to our governments.

LAW – These sociopathic spivs who channel and hide their communities’ money offshore, traitors to their friends, neighbours and countries, obscure their machinations with maze like webs of companies and manipulation of cross-border laws. They abuse the legal system by buying bent lawyers and crooked accountants – and bribing officials.

If the $21 trillion known to be offshore was invested in infrastructure and modern industries – it would create 60 million jobs. It is time the off-shore sabotaging lunatics were put in the asylums.

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