Italy: Monti says tax dodgers have created war zone
last update: August 17, 17:49
Rome, 17 Aug. (AKI) - Italian prime minister Mario Monti said the effort to get his countrymen to pay taxes amounts to a "state of war" and has had a horrible impact on international opinion of his country.
"We're in a state of war against tax evasion," Monti told the Tempi weekly on Friday.
Monti leads a government of un-elected technocrats who were appointed in November to bring a spiralling debt crisis under control and create confidence with international investors that the euro-zone's third-richest country will be able to make payments on more than 1.9 trillion euros in debt. To do this Monti has raised taxes, made it more difficult to retire and unleashed tax authorities on tax dodgers.
Monti originally had the prime minister job as well as the job of finance minister. Vittorio Grilli has since taken over the finance minister job.
According to Monti, northern Europe thinks that "Italy is a very rich country, but that the state has such a high public debt that it might need help to recover. Yet, there are middle and upper-class Italians who avoid paying taxes."
"In other words, tax evasion creates a great damage to the perception of our country abroad," said Monti.
"When I was the minister of finance and Economy, thus the person politically responsible for supervising the finance police, I always strongly encouraged employees to fight tax evasion. This serious battle might sometimes require uncomfortable moments of visibility, but nonetheless have a great effect on prevention towards other citizens," Monti said in the interview.
tutte le notizie di Politics