, FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2009 file photo, boats are seen on Ammoudi Bay near seaside tavernas on the island of Santorini, Greece. Tax authorities say they have used surveillance drones in Greece for the first time to spot violations on Santorini, where tourists were allegedly being taken on boat tours of the island's sea-filled volcanic crater without getting receipts. Greece's Independent Authority for Public Revenue says that the one-day operation last week involved surveillance of nine tour boats, and that the violations recorded in a follow-up inspection were worth 25,000 euros ($29,400) in lost revenue. (AP Photo/Michael Virtanen, File)
26 of September 2018 10:46:53
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Greek government is owed so much in tax arrears from households and companies that it could pay off more than half its massive public debts if it collected it all.
Unfortunately for the government, that's unlikely to ever happen.
Data from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue show tax arrears totaled 182.5 billion euros ($214 billion) on Aug. 10, according to a note sent from the agency to parliament last week and seen by The Associated Press Wednesday.
However, more than 80 billion euros of that represents interest and fines on delayed payments from debtors that include companies that have been out of business for decades.
The debt rivals Greece's economic output, estimated at 184.7 billion euros ($217 billion) this year. Its public debt is worth about 180 percent of that.
Eurozone-member Greece repeatedly raised taxes during its international bailouts between 2010 and August 2018. Some 3.7 million Greeks — about 60 percent of the total — are behind on tax payments.