As in other cases, so too in this one, political benefits superseded economic ones.
We see the paltry results today. With the Lagarde and Borjans lists of tax avoiders and tax evaders, of the 919 million euros in unpaid debt that was certified, only 107 million euros was collected.
The majority of cases are past the statue of limitations, due to recent judicial rulings.
There were lists of tax evaders in other countries as well, including Germany. There was a precedent and a model.
Yet, in our country an entirely different path was taken, a path that proved entirely counter-productive. Here, the lists were not made the object of tax authorities, but rather a tool of political propaganda.
Grand rhetoric was heard, reputations were marred, and pledges were made right and left. While the grand rhetoric and promises vanished, the mud remained.
Even worse, the failings in the handling of the Lagarde list did not become a lesson. The same method is being used in the Novartis case.
Instead of the competent authorities taking action, they became trapped in a political game for which they bear no responsibility.
A case which in all other countries that dealt with it was treated as what it is, a pharmaceutical scandal, in Greece was sent to parliament, where it became the object of political confrontation.
The same poison was unleashed over the Lagarde list, and the same toxic cloud covered political life.
What was the result? The same people who bemoaned the fact that due to the annulment of broadcasters’ licenses and the concomitant loss of public revenues, kids were deprived of child care stations, have now collected crumbs from the lists.