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Introduction

  • Dionyssis Dimitrakopoulos
  • Argyris Passas
Chapter

Abstract

The first two sections of this chapter present the scale of Greece’s problems with tax collection and the nature and basic characteristics of Greece’s public revenue administration at the onset of the crisis. The reform that this book examines is radical in nature in comparison to the status quo ante as well as much of Greece’s public administration. Yet it came about in a country that, according to the prevailing wisdom, has limited reform capacity. The nature of this limited reform capacity and the barriers to reform are examined in the third section of this chapter. The fourth section presents the landscape of the main models of public revenue administrations as they exist in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The final section brings together the key elements of these sections and outlines the book’s puzzle and central argument. Briefly put, the question that we seek to answer is this: what accounts for the switch from the previous model of direct ministerial control to an independent authority that operates at arm’s length from the government in a country that has limited reform capacity? How did reform-averse Greece come to enact and implement this radically different model—indeed one whose effectiveness and efficiency are not certain and is used by a minority of European Union (EU) member states?

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Dionyssis Dimitrakopoulos
    • 1
  • Argyris Passas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PoliticsBirkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of International, European and Area StudiesPanteion University of Social and Political SciencesAthensGreece

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