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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 6:36 PM

Greek Official Sends 2000 Cases of Fraud and Embezzlement of Public Money to Authorities, Zero Results

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Reader "Lefteris" from Greece writes ...

Hi Mish,

The General Inspector of Public Administration in Greece, Mr. Rakitzis, stated that he has send more than 2000 cases of proven corruption to justice, and none of them has brought any results.

This person, by the way, is considered a highly ethical and effective inspector by all political parties in Greece.

One of the problems is that Greek law considers embezzlement of money in the public sector as a misdemeanor for amounts less than 72,000 euros. Corrupt officials are taken to justice (upon review by a board of their peers) and then they are released and work again normally in the public sector.

Batting Zero for Two Thousand

From Google Translate Rakitzis: "I Sent 2000 Cases to Court and Not One Verdict"
Mr. Rakitzis said that in 8 years in his position he sent to Justice 2000 cases of which not one decision has been rendered.

He attributed much of the blame for delays, obstruction, and problems of public administration in the poor performance of local government in action and trade union circles.

Mr. Michael, the president of the Central Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Athens said the fight against corruption is a matter of survival. "The misery of wage workers in the public sector is one factor that exacerbates the problem" commented Mr. Michael.

Reforms are needed to tackle the roots of the problem: legislative complexity and ambiguity in the laws, excessive state intervention in the economy, bureaucracy, poor utilization of new technologies, and the culture of impunity.
Culture of Impunity

Politicians on the take have no interest in strengthening the law that defines embezzlement of money in the public sector under 72,000 euros, a misdemeanor. Extortion, graft, and fraud is seen as a benefit of public "service".

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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