(Greece) – The Greek government has announced that it is planning to use specialized dogs to help find those who are trying to avoid paying taxes. The dogs will be trained to sniff out cash reserves that people have hidden in their homes. During the economic crisis in Greece last summer, the government placed restrictions on how much cash people could withdraw from their bank accounts per day. Many of those who were trying to withdraw large sums were doing so to try to avoid paying taxes.
Greece’s Finance Ministry has announced that it will assemble a team devoted to obtaining dogs that are trained to find cash. Over 50 billion euros have been withdrawn from Greek banks from November 2014 to July of 2015. This was in response to fears that Greece would no longer be part of the Eurozone. However, now that Greece has received its third bailout since 2010. Back then, the Greek government instated capital controls, which were designed to prevent people from withdrawing too much money at one time. This particular crisis also led the government to accept its second bailout since 2010, which was instated in the summer of 2015.
It is estimated that there are up to 20 billion euros worth of bills that people are hoarding outside of the banking system and that tax evasion is still a common problem. The Greek authorities have said that they prefer to use German Shephards, Labradors, or Belgian Melinois over any other dog. However, as long as the dog could successfully sniff out cash reserves, the breed isn’t necessarily important.
Greece has been in a recession since before the first bailout, which took place in 2010. Their international creditors have said that Greece needs to reduce government spending and increase state revenue. Cracking down on tax evasion, which is widespread in Greece, is one way the government hopes to increase their revenue.