The Guardian

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German tax collectors volunteer for Greek duty
The Guardian

More than 160 German tax collectors have volunteered for possible assignments in Greece to help the struggling Mediterranean country gather tax more efficiently, the finance ministry said in Berlin at the weekend.The offer risks fuelling resentment among Greeks who have already reacted angrily to earlier German calls for the appointment of a « budget commissioner » to monitor the Greek government’s financial management.

The German government says it wants to help Greece develop a modern tax administration and has started recruiting volunteers. More than 160 German tax officials with English language skills have signed up and about a dozen also speak Greek, a spokesman for the finance ministry said.

German criticism has reopened wounds in Greece dating back to the second world war. Protesters in Athens burned a German flag earlier this month and Greek newspapers have portrayed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Nazi uniform.

Germans, who are making the largest financial contribution to the eurozone bailout for Greece, are growing increasingly impatient with what finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble described as a « bottomless pit » in Greece.

La Grèce sur le point de devenir une colonie Allemande ?