Greece's top tax official appears before prosecutor over alleged breach of duty

October 21, 2015 6:01 am 

ATHENS, Oct. 20 — Greece's top tax official Katerina Savvaidou appeared before an Athens prosecutor on Tuesday to answer questions over breach of duty.

Savvaidou, who was appointed in the post of the General Secretary for Public Revenues by the previous conservative-led government in the summer of 2014, was charged last week over two cases.

In the first, she faces misdemeanor charges for her alleged decision to extend beyond the legal deadline the time granted to TV stations to pay a 20 percent tax on advertisements.

The second regards her alleged choice to review a 78 million euros (USD 88.77 million) fine imposed on a company a few weeks before January's general elections.

Following the charges, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos asked the official to step down until the case is resolved.

Savvaidou, 43, remains in her post, however. On Tuesday, she was granted an extension until Oct. 26 to respond to the prosecutor's questions.

The prospect of her early departure comes at a new critical period for the Greek program, where tax collection holds a key role. This is said to have caused concern among Greece's creditors, according to local media.

International inspectors returned to Athens on Tuesday to continue the assessment of the Greek bailout, which is a precondition for the release of further vital financing to Greece.

The new Leftist-led government has promised to swiftly implement reforms, crack down on tax evasion and raise tax revenues, considered crucial for the program's success. (PNA/Xinhua)

RMA/EDS

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