Headline: An actual Grexit
WHEN Panagiotis Korfoksyliotis set up a business in Athens in 2011, ferrying tourists around by car, he hoped to do his bit to help Greece emerge from its deep recession. He says he paid his staff a decent wage and declared all his earnings. Unfortunately, the taxman did not repay the kindness. Sharp increases in business taxes have prompted Mr Korfoksyliotis to pack his bags and move his company and his life to Bulgaria. Now he employs drivers to take foreign visitors around that country’s tourist spots instead.
He is part of a growing trend. In recent years Greek governments desperate for cash have sought to squeeze it from companies, despite evidence that this is driving them away to places like Bulgaria, Cyprus and Albania. The combination of a deep recession and rising taxation has meant that by some estimates more than 200,000 businesses have closed or in some cases left Greece since then. Between 2009 and 2014 the taxable profits declared by the country’s businesses fell by more than €5 billion ($5.6 billion) to €10 billion.
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