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35.8 million euro for the pensions of 2,260 "dead souls" in the public sector

13 August 2013 / 20:08:34  GRReporter
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Nearly 2,000 retired civil servants have not appeared during the check of the actual number of pensioners in Greece. Another 2,260 pensioners are deceased but their pensions have been regularly received from other persons for a period of at least six months after their death as shown by the general data of the Greek Ministry of Finance.

The Ministry has presented the results of the inspection which started a year ago, aiming to "clean" the pension system of "dead souls." The inspectors found out during the investigation that the improperly paid pensions had amounted to a total of 35.8 million euro. The Court of Audit has found the sum of 21.5 million euro and it is still looking for the remaining 14.3 million euro.

As announced by Deputy Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras, the delisting of deceased from the lists of pensioners saves the state budget 865,888 euro per month.

At the same time, civil servants are still privileged compared with other pensioners in Greece. While thousands of people are waiting for months and, in many cases, for more than a year to start receiving their pensions, civil servants are receiving 65% of the amount upon leaving the office until the final decision on the granting of a pension.

According to the Deputy Minister, certain amounts are being paid into their bank accounts every 10th of the month. Therefore, 4,752 employees who had left the state administration this March received an advance payment on 10 August. Indicative of the increase in the number of employees who are rushing to retire before the cuts is the fact that their number was 264 in June and 1,126 in July.

Meanwhile, the inspectors from the centre to verify disability in the region of Etoloakarnania have found out that over 20% of the total number of people registered in the region as blind and deaf and dumb actually suffer from nothing and therefore, they have illegally received the aids.
This is another case following those on the islands of Zakynthos, Rhodes and Kalymnos, where networks of illegal allocation of allowances to dozens of people have been also detected, costing the state budget millions of euro.

The inspectors from the centre have examined 44 people receiving aids as deaf and dumb and have found out that 9 of them (20.45% of the total) should not obtain such aids. In addition, following the re-check of the aids for blindness in the same region, they have established that 27.38% of the recipients are not completely blind. They have examined a total of 336 people, 92 of whom had been receiving aids without being entitled to them.

The actual number of fraudsters in Etoloakarnania is not yet known, as just half of the people with disabilities in the area have been investigated. According to sources from the Ministry of Labour, a large number of the recipients are not responding to the call of the authorities to be re-examined. An announcement of the Ministry indicates that several hundred people have not appeared to be examined, nor have they asked for a postponement in order to be able to appear before the commissions later.

In particular, 83 recipients of aids for being deaf and dumb (51% of the total) have not appeared at all to be examined and another 36 (22.08%) have asked to appear later. In the group of recipients of aids for blindness, 266 people (41.56%) have not responded to the call for examination and 23 (3.59 %) have asked for a postponement.

The Ministry states that the checks will be repeated again in September, warning that it will cut the aids to those recipients who do not appear for examination or fail to provide the necessary documentation.

Tags: SocietyPensionsCivil servantsFraudsDisability aids
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