Businessman claims extortion
Two Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) employees have been arrested along with four other people accused of extortion. Authorities said yesterday that the arrests were made after a businessman claimed he was being asked to pay a 50,000-euro bribe so that an inspection of his company could be concluded without the firm being fined. Police also arrested the alleged victim’s 68-yearold accountant, her 74-year-old husband, a former Finance Ministry employee, and 43-year-old son, who works at the Bank of Greece. A 54-yearold Finance Ministry employee was also taken into custody.
Karatzaferis to stay.
The head of Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Giorgos Karatzaferis, yesterday rebuffed reports that he was set to resign as leader of the right-wing party amid a probe into payments of 1.65 million euros allegedly made into offshore companies linked to him and members of his family. “I stress and clarify that I’m not going to abandon the party leadership,” he told ANT1 television channel. “I won’t give in, I won’t back down, I won’t compromise,” he said, repeating that the affair was private and did not involve the party. Reports in Real News weekly alleged that the payments were made by two businessmen acting as middlemen in the sale of Super Puma helicopters to Greek authorities. Karatzaferis denied any knowledge of the people mentioned in the report though he did not deny a link to the offshore firm.
An ongoing inspection aimed at weeding out public sector employees who were hired on the basis of forged degree certificates or other fake qualifications has pointed to a Court of Audit department head. The unnamed employee joined the court in 1987 and retired in April of this year at the age of 53 and just in time to avoid the civil servant crackdown, Kathimerini understands. He is alleged to have secured his job with two forged degrees.
The Municipality of Marathon, northeast of Athens, has revenues of nearly 20 million euros, expenses of 17 million euros and loans of 4 million euros, according to data submitted in Parliament yesterday by Interior Minister Argyris Dinopoulos in response to a question by Independent Greeks MP Marina Chrysoveloni. Dinopoulos last month approved an advance of 400,000 euros to cover the municipality’s payroll needs after Mayor Ilias Psinakis suggested it was close to bankruptcy following years of mismanagement.
The appeals trial of two men sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 murder of two DIAS motorcycle-riding squad officers in the district of Rendi, southern Athens, was yesterday postponed to February 2. The victims, Giorgos Skyloyiannis, 22 and Yiannis Evangelinelis, 23, died after four men opened fire on eight DIAS officers who were pursuing them following a robbery on a convenience store in Menidi, north of Athens.