27 July, 2004
Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Monday urged all Greeks living abroad to repatriate their money.
Speaking to ANA, Mr Alogoskoufis said that he would be satisfied if Greeks repatriated around 5.0 billion euros and stressed that an estimate by the State Accounting Office of a repatriated sum of around 20 billion euros was "very optimistic".
Speaking to reporters, the Greek minister presented an amendment aimed to facilitate Greeks living abroad to transfer their capital back home by paying a 3.0 percent tax on capital.
He noted that repatriated funds would lead to new investments, more employment and improved cash flow by domestic banks.
Alogoskoufis said that the government wanted to offer amnesty to tax law violations although he stressed that banks should certify the legality of funds to avoid any money laundering plans. He noted that a new law on penalty interest rates would deal -once and for all- the problem with penalty rate debt. The government announced on Saturday a new law envisaging that penalty interest rates could not exceed two times the initial capital (for loans offered to farmers) and three times for all other borrowers.
Source: Athens News Agency