KeepTalkingGreece.com— The famous donkeys of Lindos on the island of Rhodes fell victim to tax controls. A hefty fine of more than four thousand euro was imposed to the donkey driver’s association for violating the tax law: that is transporting tourists to the Acropolis of Lindos without issuing receipts – thus digging huge black holes in the state revenues.
According to local newspaper Rodiaki.gr, two tax inspectors arrived in Lindos two weeks ago and started to audit what stands, flies, crawls and walks. The inspectors went to the local club of “Donkey-drivers Kleovoulos” and started their work: find out tax evasion.
They found out that no receipts had been issued for five transport tickets of 5 euro each (total 25 euro) and that the club had not registered its business operation in the local tax office. They confirmed infringement and imposed a fine of 4,250 euro.
The fine triggered strong reaction among the donkey-drivers club but they refrained from going public with their anger.
The Donkey Drivers Club “Kleovoulos” that bears the name of the famous tyrant of Lindos Cleobulus, one of the Seven Sages of ancient Greece, was established in the 1960’s and owns the donkeys who transport tourists up to the Acropolis of Lindos during the summer months.
Mayor Fotis Hatzidiakos sees in the fine “a major blow” to the tourism on the island of Rhodes. “The donkeys are a traditional attraction of Rhodes that started in the 1960’s. They are used by locals, by pensioners or students who want a bit of additional income. That’s why no one thought to see it as a profession for so many years,” He adds: “If they expect to combat tax evasion with the donkeys, they are not going to have much of a luck.”
No donkeys, no visitors to the Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, dating from 300 BC ...
450,000 tourists arrived on the island of Rhodes on charter flights in July. More than 50,000 arrived on cruisers in the same month. How many of them used a donkey to climb up to the Lindos Acropolis and back to the village paying €10 for a two-way trip? Only The Club will know about its revenues. Then it will have to subtract first of all the maintenance cost for the donkeys and ther costs
KeepTalkingGreece comments: I bet my last euro cent that when the club will try to register the business at the tax office it will find out that tax authorities have no code for such a specific kind of business. Then the club will probably have to pay several thousands of euros to register a business that never existed before as such in the state books and professional categories. Or each donkey will have to get an individual tax number. Next step will be that working donkeys will carry a POS device hanging around their neck.
When talking about donkeys… How about the working donkeys on the island of Santorini and all the other donkeys taking visitors up to ancient temples, natural caves and other sites worth visiting achievable only through rough, rocky and rutty paths?
Another aspect of the issue which I failed to add on the original post due to the taxation is, of course, the welfare of the donkeys – who have to work in the heat of the Greek summer often carrying “overweight visitors” as some of my followers mentioned on KTG’s Facebook Page. But tax authorities care less. This is the duty of another department of the Greek state