Satellite Photos Catch Greek Tax-Evaders

Tax authorities in Greece are taking aim at the notorious tax-evading rich elite. Using satellite photos, the tax authority examined the claim of residents of Athens’ wealthy suburbs and discovered that rather than the 324 swimming pools claimed on taxes by locals, there were actually 16,974 pools. A review of tax returns showed that of the 150 doctors with offices in the trendy Athens neighborhood of Kolonaki, where Prada and Chanel stores line the streets, more than half claimed an income of less than $40,000, while 34 of them claimed less than $13,300 — a figure that exempted them from paying any taxes at all. In fact, there were only a few thousand citizens in the country of 11 million who last year declared an income of more than $132,000, yet signs of wealth abound. Thanks to the new satellite images, the Ministry of Finance is cracking down on the freeloading wealthy.