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Varoufakis confirms tax hacking plan

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 01:51

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has confirmed he made secret preparations to hack into citizens' tax codes to create a parallel payment system. As Sonia Legg reports the revelation caused shock and disbelief in Greece where officials are gathered for bailout talks .

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They made a hasty entry as they arrived for bailout talks in Greece. The technical experts representing international lenders aren't the most welcome visitors. But they are looking at ways to keep the country in the euro. That's something the former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis was once tasked with too, although it seems it wasn't his only job. (SOUNDBITE) (English) YANIS VAROUFAKIS, FORMER GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, SAYING: "The Prime Minister - before he became Prime Minister, before we won the election - had given me the green light to come up with a plan B." Varoufakis explained Plan B in a conference call with a London-based think-tank earlier this month. (SOUNDBITE) (English) YANIS VAROUFAKIS, FORMER GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, SAYING: "We were planning to create surreptitiously a reserve account attached to every tax payer's number without telling anyone, just to have this system function under wraps and at the touch of a button to allow us to give pin numbers to tax file number holders - tax payers." He recruited a childhood friend to hack into his own ministry's software - as it was under Brussels' control. The idea was to copy tax systems code in case of a Grexit. Justin Urquhart Stewart from Seven Investment Management says there are merits to a parallel currency but not this late in the crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SAYING: "In a single currency you can actually have a secondary currency, as Belgium did for many years, as South Africa did for many years which would have allowed you to devalue domestically while still having your debt in the overseas currency. In theory, you then return that currency to par in due course but in Greece that's highly unlikely." Varoufakis also said he was convinced the current agreement with lenders was not viable adding. (SOUNDBITE) (English) YANIS VAROUFAKIS, FORMER GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, SAYING: "Wolfgang Schaeuble - the German finance minister - is hell bent on effecting a Grexit so nothing is over." Controverisial stuff - but Varoufakis is used that.

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Varoufakis confirms tax hacking plan

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 01:51