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Akis Tsochatzopoulos, co-founder of PASOK and convicted ex MOD, dies at 82

Akis Tsochatzopoulos, co-founder of socialist party PASOK and former defense minister, passed away at the age of 82. He was suffering from serious health problem and was hospitalized in a private clinic in the last ten days

In 1 July 2011, amid accusations of corruption scandals, the Greek Parliament voted in favor of pressing charges against him. He was subsequently convicted to a 20-year prison sentence on 7 October 2013. On April 2018 he was granted early release from prison due to deteriorating health.

Tsochatzopoulos was elected to the Greek Parliament for the first time in 1981 and remained in seat until 2007

He had served as minister in several PASOK administrations between 1981 and 2004 and was defense minister 1996-2001.
In 1996 he was candidate for PASOK leadership and for the prime minister’s post following Andreas Papandreou resignation. He lost to Costas Simitis.
What is interesting is that socialist PASOK issued a statement on Tsochatzopoulos’ death expressing condolences to his family but also stressing first of all that it had distanced itself from the former co-founder.
On social media, Greeks comment that Akis Tsochatzopoulos he was the only member of the governments that drove Greece to bankruptcy who paid the price. Revelations about his involvement in the corruption scandal and bribes regarding the purchase of German submarines emerged in the middle of bailout agreements by the country’s lenders, the IMF and the other kids of the EU block.
He was the “distraction headline’ in the media, every time, the lenders came with new demands regarding income cuts and tax hikes.

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  1. “but also stressing first of all that it had distanced itself from the former co-founder.”

    That by itself is not so strange. The thing with corruption is, don’t get caught. Once caught and the scandal is big enough, everybody will distance themselves from you (while they might be equally corrupt).

    The interesting thing about one of the corruption cases he was involved in, is still in the courts. But Germany refuses to hand over ex-Siemens chief executive in Greece Michalis Christoforakos, even after the prosecutor asking for that 3 times.

    And then the Germans complain about the corruption in Greece…Corruption is universal. In some countries -most notably the Balkan countries- it is quite obvious. In others it is at the level of the “old boys club” of very “respectable business people” and their ties to “respectable politicians”.

  2. I agree corruption is universal but I don’t think it is equal everywhere. At least in the longitude quadrant from roughly 10 degrees west to roughly 35 degrees east it is a minimum at the most northern latitudes and increases as you move towards the equator.

    I could be wrong but I think Tsochatzopoulos was never convicted of corruption. I think he was prosecuted for money laundering. Obviously the money he laundered was derived from the bribes he was paid. A bit like Al Capone being prosecuted for tax evasion because he never declared the money he made from his criminal activities. I mean if you get paid millions of Euro to issue a large government contract it stands to reason that you can’t just deposit the cheque in your bank account.

    • Yes, he was prosecuted for money laundering, as was his wife I think. These came from bribes. Siemens settled with the Greek state (and I wonder how much of that exchanged hands….). The German submarine maker (whose scandal he was also involved in), I don’t know if they were prosecuted or if it was ever settled.

      I am from an Orthodox country, lived in Catholic countries and countries with a Protestant dominance (in behaviour at least). Of those, the Protestant are the most successful one in terms of economic terms. Because Protestants are aware that “God watches them all the time” so they’d better be hardworking, do-the-right-thing, etc. That makes them good in all the they, the good things and the bad things. I think it also can lead to neurosis, masochism and sadism. Because the body is focused on preserving energy and reproduction so to work hard and be puritine requires a big mental effort to overcome the “weaknesses of the body”.
      Catholic and Orthodox are more like “meh, we are all sinner but make sure you say your hail maries and confess to the priest”. And don’t forget to ask God for forgiveness for your sins just before you die. God forgives all. Not with the Protestants: your afterlife very much depends on what you do in this life and God sees all.

      Anyway, there is plenty of corruption in the area limited by your longitudes and latitudes. It is just not present at all levels, just more limited to the higher ones. The level of corruption at Wall Street, the City of London, banks, is really big. Several banks have been exposed (and only received a slap on the wrist). It is the old boys network I wrote about and they are tied to politicians who make a wrong right. HSBC and others have been caught laundering money for drug cartels for instance. And the whole financial crisis started with respectable banks selling toxic MBS and CDS to unsuspecting clients with the help of rating agencies. In the end, they got a tax payers backed bailout whose legal framework was written by them. The same in the financial crisis in the EU. See how that works?