The Portuguese government has started publishing the names of people who owe large amounts of tax to shame them into paying up. Portugal’s finance minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said the country is owed a total of around 17 billion euros by individuals and companies.
The government wrote to the 4,000 people who giving them a last change to pay before they appeared on the list. The minister said that tactic worked: “The list has had a positive effect, when people knew their names were going to be made public, they went to their tax office to regularise their situation.”
The tax authorities received 20 million euros in the four days before the list was put on the website. Portugal is also planning to hire 380 more tax inspectors to chase up the dodgers. The country is under pressure from the European Union to reduce its public deficit which last year was 6.2% of GDP.