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"Golden" is the income of Greek politicians, the deputy, who has exported one million euro, is still wanted

27 February 2012 / 17:02:50  GRReporter
2790 reads

So far, the effects of the recession in Greece have only affected the finances of ordinary citizens. Because Greek politicians were paid in full even in the peak of the economic crisis in 2010. The amounts were staggering.

According to data submitted to the parliament by the Deputy Minister of Finance Filipos Sahinidis a few months ago, the salary of the President and deputies’ benefits burdened the state budget with the "modest" amount of 38,759,982 euro.

The total annual amount of deputies’ salaries equalled 21,853,627 euro. Those involved in summer sessions and commissions received an additional 5,374,248 euro. The allowances for the organization of deputies’ offices cost 8,920,681 euro, family allowances were in the amount of 200,271 euro and their costs - 1,778,623 euro. These include free airplane tickets, fuel, telephone communications, and even postage stamps for the correspondence of the deputies chosen by the people.

In the same year, 277,469 euro was spent in allowances for the President.  These do not include costs for receptions, cocktails, etc., amounting to 77,593 euro. Adding the allowances of all former presidents, which are 277,469 euro, the total amount becomes 632,530 euro.

Equally challenging are the amounts spent in 2010 for the pensions of former deputies. This was one of the topics widely discussed in public in recent days and many deputies have expressed the opinion that these pensions should be suspended for at least several years in order to support the Greek economy.

However, the majority of the deputies have rejected the proposal. Nevertheless, if that happened at any given time, the state budget would save 33,587,214 euro.

At the same time, the "saga" about who is the mysterious deputy, who has exported one million euro to a Swiss bank in March 2011, not in May as initially announced, is still ongoing. The inspections carried out by controlling bodies to the Ministry of Finance have found out that the number of politicians, who exported amounts over 100,000 euro to foreign banks after 2009, exceeds 40. A large part of the transactions was even made in the bank branch in the parliament building.

The controlling authorities have confirmed the names of the deputies through comparing the banking operations, tax registrations, personal identification data and addresses of depositors. According to a source from the Ministry of Finance, the data on the transfers is to be compared with the tax returns and the declarations in which the deputies explain how they have acquired their property. The aim is to establish whether the reported income and wealth justify the money transferred to Swiss banks and prove that it is not a result of tax evasion or "dirty money".

The fuss following the disclosure of the deputy called "Mr. 1 million" has not faded yet and the majority of deputies insist on revealing his name. According to the parliament chairman Filippos Petsalnikos and the majority of ministers, it is important not only whether the money was legally obtained. Their opinion and that of much of the media is to investigate whether the transfer of such an amount is moral. Especially given the fact that in the same period, ministers and deputies were persuading the Greeks not to withdraw their money from the banks where nothing was threatening it.

Minister of Finance Evangelos Venizelos said in parliament and during the Ministerial Council meeting that there were politicians who exported amounts over 100,000 euro in 2011. These cases required "more detailed comparison of the data." In his words, they were mostly former deputies and one present one, who is not the well-known "unknown" deputy with one million euro.

An urgent investigation of his case has been started following the orders of the secretary of the service for prosecution of economic crimes prosecutor Ioannis Diotis. The service has started seeking the name of the deputy as the chairman of the commission fighting the legalization of money from criminal activities Panagiotis Nikoloudis still will not disclose it referring to a legal prohibition. The end of the investigation will be followed by a tax inspection of the deputy to determine whether his income justifies the amount exported to a foreign bank.

Deputies are watching a football match in parliament, while the debate on the adoption of the new loan agreement to the country is running in the plenary hall

Tags: PoliticsDeputiesSalariesMoney transferSwiss bankInvestigationTax return
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