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Michalis Liapis expelled from New Democracy

19 December 2013 / 20:12:45  GRReporter
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Michalis Liapis is already part of the past of New Democracy, according to the decision of the Central Ethics Committee of the party.

In particular, the name of the former Minister of Transport was deleted from the records of New Democracy for his unethical conduct and for violating several party provisions. According to sources, the decision to strike off Liapis’ name from the party lists had been taken at an emergency meeting late on Wednesday, just a few hours after the Prime Minister had announced the end of the privileges of members who violate the rules.

Antonis Samaras has ordered Minister of Justice Charalambos Athanasiou to prepare an ordinance under which the deputies (active or retired), who have been found guilty of certain crimes of great public importance, will be deprived of all privileges related to their status of deputies.

The communication of New Democracy press office

"Following a decision taken yesterday and in compliance with the party statute, the Central Ethics Committee of New Democracy deleted from the party registers the name of Michalis Liapis for unethical conduct."

Here we have to recall that the former Minister of Transport did not appear at the hearing of his case and he was represented by his lawyer, who had requested and received an adjournment to 30 December, without summoning the accused. According to lawyer Sotiris Karamangiolis, his client was abroad which is why he could not appear in court. Sources claim that he is on a long- planned visit to Qatar. In addition, the lawyer mentioned a health problem (aneurysm) which, in the case of stress, was causing congestion in his client.

The former minister’s failure to appear in court is further exacerbating the negative atmosphere, which is due to the offences of which he has been accused. It is striking that although he had originally requested and received another date for the hearing of the case, demonstrating even regret, he had preferred not to appear in court today, when the case started. All these are acts of a man who was Minister of Transport and a prominent figure in the government for years.

The case against the former deputy involve charges of issuing a false certificate and forgery, and the administrative fines are related to the fact that his jeep was not insured and had a tow-bar and tinted windows without the required permits. Greek society is indignant at the case, which has caused a stir among the government and especially in the ranks of New Democracy.

The indictment and the fines

By the date of the trial, Michalis Liapis must present an insurance policy of the vehicle as well as copies of the documents for the tax paid for his luxury jeep for the period from the beginning of 2003 to today.

Michalis Liapis’ VW Touareg

He must also provide receipts for the payment of the three administrative fines imposed by the traffic police during the already famous check on Artemidos Avenue in the neighbourhood of Loutsa.

Liapis’ lawyer claims that his client has paid the insurance and the fines paid by the former Minister relate to the following:

1) a statement for the lack of car insurance (€500)

2) installing a tow-bar and tinting the windows without the appropriate permits (€120, which are immediately reduced by half due to the fact that 10 days have not yet passed)

3) retrospective insurance policies.

Michalis Liapis, according to his lawyer, has received his registration plates and the registration document of his vehicle without paying a fine as he has duly paid the taxes for 2013. Moreover, it becomes clear that the former Minister of Transport will pay the taxes for 2014 as a sign of goodwill.

"There have been over 4,000 such cases"

Over 4,000 cases of vehicle owners who have placed fake or Bulgarian registration plates on their cars to avoid paying taxes have been detected.

In an attempt to determine whether the cars, whose registration plates have been returned, are immobilised, inspectors from the service combating economic crimes are going to visit the houses of their owners in the coming days and weeks.

The reason for the checks is the fact that an increasing number of Greek citizens who have returned their registration plates are travelling to neighbouring Bulgaria to open a "phantom"  company, paying just €300 for this, and to put Bulgarian registration plates on their vehicles. As a result, the Greek state is losing hundreds of thousands of euro in taxes.

The mobilisation of the "Rambo officers" of the service of the Ministry of Finance began about a month ago when, after a major operation carried out in the period 25-28 October 2013, they along with policemen had immobilised nearly 80 luxury cars to check them.

All immobilised cars, which had been taken to the hangars of the service combating economic crimes, had engine capacity above 2,000 cc and Bulgarian registration plates.

The data required

On 2 October 2013, in a letter sent to the general secretariat for information systems, the service combating economic crimes had requested to obtain data on the return and submission of registration plates of vehicles with engine capacity exceeding 1,928 cc in the period from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012 and on their inclusion in the tax immobilisation system.

Tags: Michalis LiapiscaseNew DemocracyService combating economic crimes
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