Luxury holidays? Exclusive Conferences? Missions ‘impossible’? Extravagant Projects? Social events? Like a private PR and Events company, Greece’s more powerful union GENOP-DEI allegedly spent money of the Public Power Company (DEI) to organize the best what a …. union (?) can offer: social events and guests hosting thus with overpriced invoices. A ‘generous’ squander of public money, so generous that the Financial Crimes Units of Finance Ministry (SDOE) proceeded to a thorough double checking of the spending recipts.
Daily ETHNOS revealed in an exclusive story the SDOE findings that come to the conclusion that the impressive amount of 2 million euro was spent on leisure and pleasure in the austerity years 2008-2010. Oops, sorry, I almost forgot that the years 2008 and 2009 were years of (fake) prosperity, where the country was sinking in the deepest debt of its modern history.
The eveything but non-negligible amount of 2,080,209 euro was spent for luxury travels to Europe, for trade missions, for super hosting of foreign colleagues, but also for assignments of research and project studies for unionists’ relatives, even thought these studies were never delivered.
GENOP union and the Organization for DEH workers’ Social Activities organized 29 events during the years 2008-2010 and overpriced them charging DEH with € 1,194.497, while the real cost and spending was € 885.711€! Where did the euro-difference go? Good question!
In August 2009, forty-six people launched for a seven-day trip to Italy. Real cost? 50,098 euro. The bill submitted to DEH was 109,000 euro. When the company rejected the payment, the unionists name the purpose of the trip from ‘excursion’ to ‘education’ and the bill was refunded.
Conferences & Studies
Short after Greece signed the loan agreement with its lenders, the unionists organized a two- day conference with the title “Integration of the EU directives for the purpose of freeing the energy sector”. Total cost? €94,800. The cost included spending for technical studies. Two studies were assigned to the daughter of a former unionist, one to a lawyer company. One daughter issued an invoice of €31,400 – she never delivered the study. The second daughter issued an invoice of 8,000 euro – she delivered the text of the EU directive and 16 pages of photocopied slights. The lawyer company delivered a study of 26 pages.
Fifteen days of June 2008 were there to fulfil dreams of both sides of the Mediterranean basin. 37lucky unionists from Morocco were hosted by their Greek colleagues for a dream vacation on the island of Crete. Total spending for accommodation, meals and transport was 29,755.60 euro. However a miracle apparently occurred and the tour operation who organized the WOW-holidays issued an invoice for 73,440 euro. It seems as the miracle went parallel to the sun, then the invoice landed in the hands of another tour operator -who happened to be owned by the wife of the first invoice issuer. The second tour operator sent the final bill to DEH: 101,121 euro!
Unionists from all over the world flocked to Greece destinations upon invitation of GENOP-DEH and on cost of DEH subscribers. DEH paid 85,320 euro for the vacations of 36 unionists from Tunesia (real cost less than 20K euro) and 115,440 euro for the wonderful hosting of 37 Canadians (real cost 37K euro). These are only a few from a total of 17 cases of generous hosting and unforgettable Greek hospitality.
Environment Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou (ex FinMin) demanded that DEH urgently investigates the issue and find the responsible for the funding of the GENOP union.
The president of GENOP, Nikos Fotopoulos asked the opening of the bank accounts of unionists and spoke of defamation attempt. The bank accounts of unionists have to be opened and thus for a period of 20 years, Fotopoulos told the Greek media. “If a deposit or purchase of even one euro will be found on my account, I won’t resign, I will commit suicide” Fotopoulos said.