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Bank Confiscations Boost Greek Social Security Coffers

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this file photo dated Friday, June 22, 2018, people walk past the Bank of Greece headquarters as workers repair the facade of the building in central Athens. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, FILE)

ATHENS – The seizing of bank accounts has been a boon for Greece's Center for the Collection of Social Security Arrears (KEAO) as it's bringing in so much money the agency is closing to bringing in record revenue for 2018.

Electronically taking money out of people's bank accounts by the state has brought in some 1.15 billion euros ($1.31 billion) for KEAO in the first 10 months of the year as authorities want to expand the confiscations to safe deposit boxes and other assets.

The seizures have been particularly effective against those who keep their money in Greek banks but left untouched the wealthy and others who keep their money in secret foreign accounts to evade taxes.

KEAO mostly focuses on debts to social security funds created since 2016, which are estimated at some 800 million euros ($913.64 billion) and as the state had difficulty collecting. The rate of collections has authorities hoping in 2019 they can bring in 1.5 billion euros ($1.71 billion).