Photo Gallery Obscene Wealth, Greek Style

The Greek economy has been tanking for years now as the country struggles to balance its budget by imposing deep austerity measures. The country's richest, though, haven't noticed. Many aren't taxed at all, and some of those that are prefer to dodge their obligation to the state.
1 / 8

Much attention has been focused on Greek shipping companies in recent weeks due to the fact that they contribute hardly anything to the country's tax revenues. The government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has asked them for a "voluntary" contribution. Here, Leon Patitsas, the 36-year-old heir to a shipping company, with his wife. Patitsas now runs Atlas Maritime.

2 / 8

Several years into the crisis, tax dodging is still something of a national sport in Greece. While shipping companies are not required to pay much in the way of taxes, many others have moved their wealth out of the country. Here, a view of a port for yachts in Athens.

Foto: epa ANA Nikos Daniilidis/ picture-alliance/ dpa
3 / 8

The EU's Directorate-General for Competition recently identified 57 different tax amnesties for Greece shipowners alone and, puzzled, sent a letter to the government in Athens. The government argues that shipping companies are highly mobile and would simply leave the country were they taxed.

Foto: Petros Giannakouris/ AP
4 / 8

George Economou, Greece's biggest shipping magnate, prefers talking about his art collection to being quizzed about the crisis in which his country finds itself. Here, he is pictured in front of the Munich art museum Pinakothek der Moderne.

Foto: dapd
5 / 8

The privileged don't even bother to hide their wealth in public. In the rich neighborhoods -- whether Kifissia in northern Athens or Glyfada to the south -- people still speed about in their Porsche Cayennes and Hermès handbags can still be seen beneath café tables. Gucci, Balenciaga and Dior all maintain stores in the Greek capital. It's the florists around the corner that go out of business.

Foto: Sean Gallup/ Getty Images
6 / 8

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras. "Greece is a poor country with very rich people," he says.

Foto: Orestis Panagiotou/ dpa
7 / 8

The Greek government can no longer pay its bills and owes private-sector companies some €9 billion. But even now, three years into the crisis, it continues to exempt commercial shipping companies, which make up its most successful industrial sector, from all taxes. This relief for the rich just puts more of a burden on the poor.

Foto: Nikolas Giakoumidis/ AP
8 / 8

Greek President Karolos Papoulias once said: "Everyone acts in accordance with their patriotism." Peter Nomikos, a 33-year-old investor from a ship-owning family, says that Greeks are horrible citizens but enthusiastic patriots.

Foto: Petros Karadjias/ AP
Die Wiedergabe wurde unterbrochen.