On the heels of the saving of the Euro comes fresh news of Greek disorganization and economic mismanagement. According to this article by Ian Cowie from the UK’s Telegraph, there are more Porsche Cayenne SUVs in Greece than people who can afford them according to their income tax declaration forms. An income of 50,000 euros or £43,800 (roughly $70,245 according to Google) is designated as the minimum annual income for a Porsche driver. As to why this figure and not another, the author is never clear (perhaps because it is entirely arbitrary and for maximum dramatic effect?). Nonetheless, citing further evidence of something being amiss, Ian Cowie states, “Something can’t be right when the modest city of Larisa, capital of the agricultural region of Thessaly with 250,000 inhabitants, has more Porsches per head of the population than New York or London.” Is the presence of more Porsche Cayennes per capita in and of itself indicative of anything meaningful? When I first read this, I thought that perhaps Greek farmers receive massive subsidies like many of their European counterparts, explaining the income distortion. This conjecture never appears once in Ian Cowie’s account, but I think this issue would go far in explaining the presence of luxury vehicles in an otherwise rural region. It is never even mentioned once throughout though I think it is pertinent to the issue at hand, namely, Greek proclivity to not follow tax laws and to skirt their government’s regulations. Why should those citizens willing to simultaneously cheat the system also benefit from its largesse? Surely whether or not Greek farmers receive subsidies from the government would go further in explaining how the Greek government is bleeding money than how many Porsches are in a certain region of Greece.
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