MOSCOW, (Sputnik) – The European Union should actively support Greece’s intentions to tackle corruption and tax evasion by freezing the assets and accounts of the wealthiest Greeks living in other countries in the union, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Tuesday.
“If the new Greek government is serious about fighting corruption and tax evasion, then the whole European Union should actively support it,” Gabriel told Germany’s Bild newspaper.
Gabriel specified that Brussels could help by freezing the assets and accounts of the extremely rich Greek citizens living in other EU countries.
On Sunday, newly elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis began a tour of European capitals, seeking to renegotiate the austerity measures demanded by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund for bailout loans totaling about $268 billion.
In his election campaign, Tsipras repeatedly stressed the importance of finding alternative bailout terms and vowed to ease austerity.
In mid-January, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi wrote a letter to European Parliament member Kostas Chrysogonos of the Syriza party, saying Greece’s tax burden-to-GDP ratio is in fact well below other EU member states, standing at 34.2 percent in 2013.