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Tax inspectors told to work harder at catching fraudsters

Government initiative shows concern over possible failure to meet six-percent budget deficit target

Economy Minister Elena Salgado has asked tax inspectors to come down hard against fraud and income tax evasion in an effort to help put the country's finances in order before the end of the year.

José María Meseguer, director of the tax agency AEAT, told inspectors that Salgado has ordered officials to crack down as much as they can on fraudsters.

"This is the state's problem. They have asked us to work more efficiently," he said during the inspectors' annual convention, held last week in Cádiz.

Meseguer explained that the government wants to find any money that has not been reported to help meet its goal in bringing down the deficit to 6 percent of GDP by the end of the year. In a report published last week, the European Commission predicted that Spain would not hit its deficit target this year or the next.

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