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Greece public sector parties with public money, despite crisis and austerity

It must be on corruption- DNA or on deep rooted “I don’t give a dam”- mentality: that public money is here to be spent as if no tomorrow. The annual report 2010 by the State Audit Council published on Thursday shows incredible and widespread wasteful spending of public money and  by the notorious Greek public sector. A total of 148 million euros in illegal spending. And thus, when the country had sought the IMF bailout mechanism, when the first wave of austerity had hit millions of households and the average Greek started to get on his knees under the sharp cuts of his income and the increase of taxes.

Decorated with concrete examples the report states among others:

  • the most expensive New Year cake was baked for 23,000 euro for a provincial technical college.
  • that a municipality spent 8,500 euro to transport workers form he province to Athens and have them protest the reform law of local governments.
  • Development ministry spent 5,500 euro to buy cigars [apparently locally produced cigars that were distributed for promotion purposes).
  • Retired municipality worker was receiving payments for … ‘overtime work’
  • Three municipality majors in Northern Greece attempted to buy jeeps 4×4 for a total coast of 79,700 euro.

1,180 pages show that the state machine kept functioning with the same logic and same old mentality spending money without transparency, awarding projects directly and without procurement, illegally hiring contractors and special advisers, making illegal remuneration and spent lavishly for festivals*, events, advertising, gifts, even funerals of former majors. Not to mention the generous distribution of mobile phones…

On Thursday morning I saw a man (local politician? MP?) speaking on the issue on private Skai TV, saying that ‘often public money is being relocated from one section to another when decisions or procedures take too long.”

According to this saying its very possible that 1,000 euro was paid for the new year cake but the rest went to some workers bonus, or whatever other ‘legal’ or illegal payments.

“In the majority of these cases there were no prosecutions. Only officials responsible for 13.5 million euros’ worth of these illegal payments were indicted to appear before a prosecutor, according to the report, while it remained unclear whether any of them were tried and convicted.”(ekathimerini)

More than half of the report covers the activities of local authorities, while it also refers to many non-legitimate hospital supplies with medicines, sanitary material etc. However, these were later “retrospectively legalized” invoking emergency needs.

In many cases works were assigned to private companies, while they could be very well done by state agencies without cost. Cases were also assigned to outside counselor, while they could be handled by legal advisers of state institutions.

other sources:,

PS I am curious to see the report findings for 2011. If the waste of public money continued. Most possible it did… It’s not their own money, it’s mine…






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  1. P.S. It´s not your money only,it´s loaned from me also. The words cannot describe my feelings right now.

  2. keeptalkinggreece

    not my taxes? if not, where did my taxes go if not in the state registers?

  3. Some of us in the Expat community have referred to this for years as the “Big Fat Greek Publik Sector ” or BFGPS….

  4. It’s what we all knew and know.
    About that re-allocating of funds. I have heard that from the then civil servant who was responsible for finances in our dimos. He always refused to do that as long as it was not totally legal. And most of the times it wasn’t. When, after kalikrates, our dimos was abolished he was given an empty desk in the new centralize dimos and was kept far away from decisions like these.
    It’s the way Greece cleans out those who do not play by the local rules and want to obey the laws of this land… It’s what is happening to Georgiou (ELSTAT) and I wouldn’t be at all surprised that this kind of thing is going on around Papakonstantinou too… The whistleblowers will all be hanged eventually as an example to others who might want to ruffle feathers.

  5. I thought there was a movie call big fat Greek wedding? Or was public sector?

  6. not working today?

  7. Congrats KTG, your picture selection (the goose) is right on the money.

  8. No not this Sunday I have day off so I go fishing with my friend

  9. go fishing? in athens or piraeus?