Statement by the anarchist collective Rouvikonas on the occupation of the Greek finance ministery on October 5, 2017.
Originally published by the Radiofragmata translation project.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Greece: Rouvikonas on the Occupation of the HQ of State Fincance Operations
For the past few weeks letters aiming to remind millions of people to pay billions of euro in tax have been posted. Proterty tax, vat, income tax, and a bunch of other ”exotic” terms have been attributed to different types of tax, whose only purpose is to obscure a common truth: the beast has arrived and is thirsty for blood. The frontal attack against the proletarians across europe is achieved through the narrative that it’s some kind of national duty or obligation of people to pay trillions in debt without any protest or complaint.
We want to take this opportunity and say a few things about property tax in detail. This tax was initially introduced as a short-term contribution through the form of an extra charge on the electricity bill. Back then, in the distant 2011, it also came with provocative
tax-reductions for large properties: 25% off for properties between 1000 sq. metres and 2000 sq. metres as well as a 50% tax reduction for properties over 2000 sq.metres. Eventually, it was made clear that this was not a short-term law, since all the following governments, with no exception, shied away from their pre-electoral announcements regarding a reduction or even an abolition of this law. As you can see, the state can’t say no to 2,5-3 billion euro collected per annum so effortlessly. The Syriza-Independent Greeks administration, discarded their pre-electoral commitment on the abolition this tax and thought it would be a good idea to turn this tax into an informal type of rent, since people who can’t afford to pay it in full at once, can now pay in monthly instalments, starting from September 2017 through to July 2018.
Various actors within the system who are trying to convince everyone that ”we spent all the money together” manage to avoid explaining what happened to all the usb sticks and the Langarde lists which have been given publicity from time to time. They turn away from discussing issues like the zero taxation of ship owners, the taxation-asylum enjoyed by the oligarchs of each country and the existence of tax havens, where various offshore corporations act as they please. At the same time they never omit reminding us, with every opportunity they get, the incredible damage we ‘ve caused to the economy when we did not ask to get a receipt for buying cheese pies and tend to go into a frenzy about the plumbers who neglect to issue receipts and the street stall sellers selling chestnuts unlicensed.
Let’s put aside the lengthy and in-depth analyses, since the big picture is a very simple one: according to records published last year, approximately 4.150 people and companies owe the state approximately 15 billion euro. Simultaneously, foreclosures are taking place to cover small amounts of debt, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand euro. Of course, tax bills estimated around a few million euro are often -and very easily- treated as ”non-receivable” and are put in the archive, when 12 year-old children or people that died years ago, still receive notifications to pay their share of property tax.
At this point we want to remind everyone that these taxes are supposedly imposed in order to fund basic operations such as education and healthcare, but in this banana republic this was never really the case. Even we assume that bribes, cons and sinecures, which affected all of us, have somehow been reduced during the last few years, this is not on account of a ”rationalization” or process of improvement. This is about cuts which are imposed by those very institutions whose thirst for blood impose a never-ending chorus of taxation in an effort to keep failing banks alive. And of course we don’t only refer to domestic low-scale actors but also multinational moguls whose spreadsheets play with trillions.
As the masks have come off, when it’s obvious that the only purpose of imposing new taxes is to pay-off a debt which was created by the crimes of the stock-market, the Vatopedi sandal, Voulgarakis, Mantelis and Tsoukatos, which by the way are free now, then there are not many options.
REFUSE TO PAY NOW
Society has suffered in silence so far but it keeps on paying. On the other side of the class war, on the side of the exploiters, cessation of payments has begun for quite some time now. The most characteristic example is that of Marinopoulos about a year ago. We all remember how he was portrayed as a role model of a successful businessman until one day he stopped publishing his financial reports and very quietly started transferring his wealth abroad. When the news broke, the Marinopoulos family moved to another country leaving everything behind them in shambles. His group of companies owes 828 million euro to providers, 500 million euro to banks and creditors, around 50 million to the state and insurance companies and 5 million to its workers in unpaid salaries. Bear in mind that these gentlemen did not fall behind on their payments nor were they destroyed by the crisis. They now reside and thrive abroad where they have acquired property, businesses, investment funds and are involved in every kind of reputable activity worth hundreds of millions of euro. This ending did not come as a surprise to us, since we had not expected a different turn out of events. The state has always protected them. So, the rich have essentially enjoyed a tax-asylum while ordinary payers are the ones who cannot avoid paying taxes.
These incidents are quite common, in a smaller or larger scale: what’s different about the aforementioned example is the level of publicity it was given. Cessation of payments is ongoing and every government so far has responded to this issue by creating extra taxes for those who can’t avoid paying them. ‘’Fools’’ are taxed until they drop and scum face the indifference of the state and enjoy impunity : that’s the reality today. The answer all of us at the bottom of the social pyramid ought to give is simple and is none other than an eye for an eye: immediate cessation of all payments.
For all the above reasons, we went to the State’s Finance Office, which we occupied for a few hours in an effort to expose the insanity and injustice that characterize these measures which target the poor and leave the rich unaffected.
WHEN ONE DOES NOT PAY, HE/SHE IS SENT TO PRISON
WHEN MANY STOP PAYING, NOBODY CAN DO ANYTHING
Anarchist Collective Rouvikonas, Oktober 2017.
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