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From looking quite closely, it was apparent that the tax evasion story was a bit overblown. I don't know where the tax revenue is coming from, maybe corporate taxes, but Greece was averaging 9.7k per capita in taxes, which was on the high side
I'm not sure about the absolute number, but on a per capita basis, Greece has the lowest tax revenue as a % of GDP of all EU15 members and quite a few EU27 members. This is due to both large tax evasion and a low and diminishing corporate tax and a skewed tax structure. Note too that (I can't find the stats right now, but take my word for it!) indirect taxes are not so lagging as per the EU (although VAT theft is an issue as well).
I'm not sure about the numbers regarding pensions and public sector wages either. The numbers I've seen are at 9% of GDP and that is close to 35% of public expenditures, 45% if you only count primary expenditures which I think some do, but never mention... anything beyond that requires statistical alchemy AFAICS. The numbers don't add up otherwise. This is the budget for 2009 (in greek!).
As for working in Greece: the pay and the conditions used to be horrible. Now they will be intolerable. I expect (and I am seeing already) a huge exodus of young, talented and highly trained people...
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
Italy will probably look like this within a year or two, barring a miracle...
'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
Best guess : it's because il padrone is one of the meanest m*****ing wolves in the pack.
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
Eurostat has gov't worker pay at 29.5 billion, or 33% of the budget. The IMF says gov't worker pay and pensions is 75%. And yet the OECD numbers diverge.
Do the EU and/or national laws not require governments to produce CAFRs or other audited financial statements for the public?
You shouldn't need to go digging through Eurostat or the OECD to find out how much they're spending on this or that.
Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
The problem isn't that the figures aren't readily available, it's that they differ.
Right on the page for Eurostat statistics you'll find a Eurostat report dated January 10, 2010 that explains the Greek statistic situation. The short of it: Greece gave bad predictive statistics each year, and then Eurostat conducted a methodological review (each year) that gave the actual statistics.
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