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Athens: Police arrests Alzheimer’s patient, 90, for €5,000 debt to the tax office

An Alzheimer’s patient had to experience an incredible and cruel adventure, the moment she stepped out the door. The 90-year-old woman left her home on a February night and started wandering in her neighborhood. When policemen found her they took her to police station. In a search apparently to find her relatives and some home address, the computer spitted the information that the woman was owing 5,000 euro to the tax office. According to the latest laws, debtors owing more than 5,000 euro to the state have to be detained and prosecuted.

Instead of bringing the Alzheimer’s patient to the safe environment back home, the police had to apply the law and detain her.

Next morning, the woman’s relatives were informed about her detention.

The relatives and the caretaker found the woman in a stage of panic attack in a detention cell of the police station and more than this… they found out that they were not allowed to take her home.

The woman had to appear before the prosecutor according to ‘caught in act’ law that provides that a “criminal” has to appear before the court within 48-hours after detention.

“Due to work overload of the prosecutor, we were told that she could not appear to court that morning and that she would have to stay longer in detention,” the woman’s niece told private Mega TV on Sunday, adding that the woman had fell from the bed in the cell and that she was injured.

video: niece speaking to Mega TV

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As the relatives insisted of her illness, the prosecutor ordered her transfer to a public psychiatric facility where she stayed for ten days under police guardianship.

The public hospital confirmed her illness and the woman was sent home. The prosecutor set the trail date a month and a half later.

Yes, strictly applying the laws to the elderly and vulnerable will certainly save Greece from the huge debts and combat tax evasion.

A fine of 100 euro would most probably be imposed too, if the Alzheimer’s patient will not open an e-mail account and declare it to the tax office within the next 60 days. That’s a new law issued by the Greek Finance Ministry, according to which all taxpayers have to have an e-mail account.

No, there are no laws in this country full of troubled citizens to protect the rights of Alzheimer’s patients.




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  1. If the info is correct, the way she has been treated has contravened her human rights under EU law. It’s a disgrace that the EU laws to protect citizens are blatantly ignored. Poor lady and her family.

  2. How (un)ethical is this?? Is it legal? Someone should tell the relatives to seek legal help and take the issue to the European Court of Human Rights.