New Democracy Moves Financial Crime Squad to Tax Office

ATHENS – The new ruling New Democracy administration is doing away with the Financial Crime Squad (DOE) and Labor Inspection Unit and will move them into the Finance Ministry’s Secretariat for Tax Policy.

The change was done to keep them away from political influence, said Kathimerini, and in a bid to make their operations more effective and less cumbersome. SDOE has had a checkered record in trying to go after major tax cheats.

Ministry officials said the move will cut the number of general secretariats by a third but didn’t say if the workforce attached to the units would be reduced as well as new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said there wouldn’t be any wholesale firings.

Deputy Minister for Tax Policy Apostolos Vesyropoulos said, “The move will be judged by its result,” dding that if problems occur along the way, “no one is stopping us from making corrections.”

A deputy from the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, denounced the decision, saying the end of SDOE is “best gift” the government could give to tax dodgers, smugglers and other perpetrators of financial crimes, none of whom his party didn’t catch.