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Syndicate boss punished with a 60,000 euro fine and prohibition to leave the country

27 April 2013 / 18:04:43  GRReporter
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President of the Syndicate of Workers of the Greek National Electricity Company Nikos Fotopoulos has been released on a cash bail of 60,000 euro and punished with a prohibition to leave the country after testifying before an investigator. "Many people wanted to see me in jail. Their wish did not come true," said Fotopoulos after the decision of the investigator. "Since there was no concrete evidence justice imposed on me only restrictive measures. The first battle is won. The truth will come out," he added.

Fotopoulos repeated his thesis that the real reasons for the persecution against him were not the funding that the trade union received from the electricity company and costs for travelling or meetings of union members, but the clash of interests: "Because, for 6 years, in the presence of all the ministers at general meetings of shareholders, we have been exposing abuses that have been happening in the company," he said. His lawyer Dimitris Tsovolas said that trade unionists are focussed on selling the company. Fotopoulos has been accused of fraud in connection with funds provided by the electricity company to the trade union that are supposed not to have been spent as intended.

Today, former chief secretary of the union Evangelos Bouzoulos, who has been released on a cash bail of 20,000 euro and punished with a prohibition to leave the country, also testified before investigator Christos Papakostas. Charges include an amount of more than 1 million euro, which was given to the trade union by the company in the period 2008 - 2010. It included a loan of 500,000 euro given during the presidency of Arthouros Zervos, a sum of 300,000 euro given during the Presidency of Takis Athanasopoulos for a study that was not carried out. The accusation of frauds concerns the sum of 312,000 euro spent on two trips that did not take place. Fotopoulos denies the allegations and told the investigator that the financing in question was fully legal. The loan is being paid regularly by the union and the amount paid for the study was spent on a different study than that initially intended. Fotopoulos denied the fraud, since not only educational trips, but every single trip that helped towards the development of links between the union’s members and colleagues from other countries, was completely legal. All services provided to the union are under the collective labour agreements and have the agreement of the company’s board, according to him. The same charges also apply to another 15 members of the board of the company during the period 2008 - 2010, and Athanasopoulos and Zervos, who have been released on a cash bail of 30,000 euro each, have already been questioned as accomplices.

The investigation began in 2011 following a signal by administrative inspector Leandros Rakindzis. He stressed that financing of secondary unionists was legal.

Petros Doukas, Picture:

Meanwhile, after an interrogation, former ministers of the governments of New Democracy Petros Doukas and George Voulgarakis were released without any restrictive measures, as well as Voulgarakis’s wife lawyer Ekaterini Peleki. They were accused of breaking the law of the origin of property. Charges against them were raised following a check of asset declarations by the parliamentary committee. Doukas was summoned to testify after it was discovered that his bank accounts were reduced by 1.1 million euro in his declaration of 2010 compared to his declaration of 2009. Voulgarakis was charged in connection with the Lagarde list, according to which he had an account of 117,000 euro, which has not been declared. The account in question, according to the information, belongs to a company outside the country the co-owner of which is his wife.

Georgios Voulgarakis, Picture:

Former Minister Yiannis Papantoniou and his wife were also summoned for similar accusations following the Lagarde list several days ago. They have been released on a cash bail of 50,000 euro for the former minister and 20,000 euro for his wife, respectively.

Tags: abuses trade unions Nikos Fotopoulos Georgios Voulgarakis Petros Doukas former ministers
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