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Driver Received “Blindness Pension” – In Greece, Where Else?

Despite the harsh austerity the extortion of public money continues without end. It is only a matter of …coincidence that law breakers are caught. At the same time, thousands of Greece’s needy, chronic ill and low pensioners see their income sharply decreasing and are deprived of medicine, as the health ministry austerity deliberately (?) delete drugs from their therapy lists and social benefits.

A satirical depiction of a blind driver using a cane to navigate

“Blind” Driver

A vegetables seller, 56, has been receiving ‘social benefits” for being apparently 100% blind. The only problem was that the man was driving his truck each and every day – and thus since 2004, when he was diagnosed with 67% blindness. the man continued to drive also since 2007 when his blindness had apparently reached a level of 100%.

The ‘blind’ man had also managed the impossible: he was able to drive a motorbike.

His ‘severe disability’ was diagnosed by the health committees of Greece’s biggest insurance fund IKA. The man was receiving a pension of 1,160 euro (NET TV) as he was granted also aid from a caretaker. The total amount received from the Farmers’ Pension Fund (OGA) is 70.794 euro.

The blind with the Argus eyes was arrested by the economic police.

OGA is about to demand the illegally obtained amount back and take also legal measures against the members of the health committee, OGA manager Panagiotis Petroulas told daily Imerisia.

The case is only one form the hundreds daily revealed in Greece: cases of people obtaining illegally pensions and social benefits.

Albanians Illegally Received Pensions and Benefits

Last month, an investigation in the records of Ioannina Municipality, in North western Greece, revealed that some 500 Albanians were illegally receiving pensions and benefits through the OGA and were holders of health books although they were not living in Greece. Among the ‘fake’ beneficiaries was an Albanian prosecutor who was registered as ‘poor’ and was illegally receiving medicine, as he was not resident of Greece.

IKA has recently said it would claim back the amounts with a 5% interest rate from all those who illegally benefited from the lack of control mechanism. Not to mention the corruption among the state services….

PS Members of the Greek minority in Albania (North Ipirus) were entitled to receive OGA pensions, however that law was cancelled in 2010. Odd enough I heard also of -at least two cases here in Athens, that “Albanian grannies” had arrived just for the sole purpose to register for pensions also last summer, that is 2011.

I do hope the records of other municipalities would open soon too 🙂

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31 comments

  1. In the UK we also get similar frauds that go undetected for many years, until pure chance reveals the fraud.
    It’s a source of much anger and frustration for those of us in the UK who pay large amounts of tax on fuel, 20% VAT, local council tax (poll tax), road fund taxes etc only to watch lazy fraudsters sit back and waste the money we pay in tax.

  2. OGA is long-notorious for its corruption (and budget deficits!). It is a scandal that it has taken an economic disaster for Greek politicians and officials to do something about it.

  3. I see a blind driver, asking the way to Athene.
    What is wrong with that?

  4. I bet he voted SYRIZA!

    • Why not ND or PASOK, pseudo ?

      • Because SYRIZA is the party which received the most votes from the “disabled”, it the new party of the Greek status quo!

        • keeptalkinggreece

          really? any link so we can post about?

          • keeptalkinggreece

            what market-talk knows who voted for syriza? stunning – but not really- prejudice lol

          • The same way that they know that people over 50 voted mostly for ND I imagine.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            hm… let’s say that this statistics come from exit polls. but ‘disabled’ voted for Syriza comes according to what data collection?

          • If you don’t want to believe them, nothing will convince you!

          • keeptalkinggreece

            that’s a twisted conclusion, that’s all.

          • Here is the statistical analysis. Apparently the a statistitically significant portion of SYRIZA’s gains were in the municipalities with the higher than average numbers of people earning
            disability pensions. http://wiredandready.net/2012/06/18/syriza-4/#more-3120

          • keeptalkinggreece

            lol

          • Greek-repat

            First of all, they haven’t calculated correlation coefficients: they merely give their opinion from rough appearance of the data. THis is not good.

            Secondly, even correlation coefficients do not prove causality. They may indicate some connection, but they may also show a relation that is accidental and the more important relations have not been measured or calculated.

            I do not know what are the characteristics of municipalities where more than average proportions receive invalidity benefits. Probably there are poorer; maybe they are poorer with higher educational levels. These would explain the voting pattern better.

            So, sorry, but I had seen these data before. They are very poor.

          • Sorry, ignore the first part of my last post, I forgot to delete it after I had seen the correlation coefficients. The rest of the post is valid, though.

          • I have never seen such a load of crap, paraded as statistical analysis, in my life.

          • Anything that doesn’t support your agenda seems to be a load of crap, even the truth.

          • Here’s a few more gems of “truth” following the statistical antics displayed on market-talk

            – Chrysi Avgi gets most of its support in areas with high concentration of immigrants. Therefore, Chrysi Avgi is a pro-immigrant party
            – Certain areas in Athens have high concentrations of prostitution. therefore, a deputy elected in those areas is a prostitute
            – 33.61% of voters in Iraklio and 33.77% of voters in Chania voted Syriza instead of ND. Therefor 67.38% of voters in Iraklio and Chania do not support democracy.
            – Tsipras would be bad PM, because he has never done it before
            – etc. etc.

            It blatantly obvious that the conclusion was drawn and the argument constructed to fit the outcome. A primary school child with half a brain can see that. There is absolutely no corrolation between the figures given and the conclusions drawn. But it does of require at least half a function brain to recognise that. It doesn’t require a brain to blindly accept it. Ignorance will suffice for that.

          • Although my knowledge of statistical data leads me to be very critical of almost all statistics, I have to say that this joke left me dumbfounded. I can only assume that you have to be either innumerate or with tunnel vision to take this crap seriously.

          • See above.

          • No, it’s a professional opinion as someone who interprets statsitics and advises on them. You are the one with an agenda.

          • Really, is that what you do? I thought you were a comedian!

          • Try looking away from the mirror.

        • This looks like lies and anti-Left propaganda to me.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      thAt’s why we say Greece is an African country

      • Hhahaha. Yes, Antonis: find a developed country that has “blind” drivers, rather than African ones! Probably the nearest you will get are Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine (not so developed, these three).