LATEST OROKLINI NEWS
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2012
Police will now check your records at the airport for unpaid fines and taxes
Cyprus is fast becoming an unpleasant place to live in. In the latest seemingly act of desperation, the Government is sending a warning to all residents that people who owe money to the state will be forced to pay their dues before exiting the country.
This past week a Police spokesman actually stated that the force will be checking everyone passing through the airports to determine if they have any unpaid fines or if they owe social insurance and/or income Tax.
Quite how the authorities will actually manage this, the cost of setting it up and the queues that may be generated at the airports is scary to say the least. Moreover, the fear factor of false alarms, embarrassment at the airport and state harassment, sends chills up ones spine. This aggressive tactic is something like a former communist regime would do.
The Government claims that such measures will be put in place to recover around €135 million in uncollected fines or social insurance and income tax payments. The goal is to use computer technology to check a list (which could be very long), so the once quick check of the passport will go and we will have to endure a computer name search, which is likely to cause queues. In the event a person is found to be on the list from their passport or ID card, an arrangement will immediately need to be made in order to pay off the amount owed, either on their return to the island or in installments. The Chief of Police Michalis Papageorgiou went further and threatened “People who owe money to the state and are caught will be made to pay the fine, whoever they are”.
What if people cannot pay? After all several businesses are going bankrupt by the day! Its like saying if you are bankrupt you cannot travel to find a job! No doubt this heavy handed approach will bring further misery to people and this with the planned austerity boils down to Government measures aimed at taking money from the average man in the street at all costs under difficult times.
The Police will start making checks in the coming weeks, as soon as all of the relevant information has been placed on a database. This will be for a trial period, however the chief of Police seems to have already made his mind up, hence so much for the trial!
Additionally, Police will follow the same procedure concerning people that visit a Police station anywhere in Cyprus for whatever reason. Personal information will be checked and if the visitor owes money, they will not be helped until they pay off the money they owe the state. It's still unclear how Police will deal with cases where large amounts are owed and whether an arrangement can be made to pay off the debt in installments at the station.
What would happen in the case of a serious crime? For example, are they saying if a woman is rapped her records will be checked and she will not be helped until she pays a fine? There is a definite lack of fore-thought when it comes to this measure and the state is further alienating itself to the public at large.
Posted by Grant Holmes at 12:01 AM
Labels: Cyprus News, Government