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Television companies and football clubs oppose the maintenance of a police pension fund

02 January 2013 / 19:01:09  GRReporter
2580 reads

The financial police in Greece are carrying out a preliminary investigation against the auxiliary pension fund of law enforcement officers after a complaint by the union of police officers in the region of Attica. The economic prosecutor Grigoris Peponis will investigate the fund as well as television companies and football clubs.

According to the complaint, the television channels broadcasting the football matches live and the football teams themselves have not been paying a "tribute" to the additional social security of police officers, as provided by Law 2574 of 2007. The law stipulates that 10% of the cost television companies pay for the right to broadcast football matches should go to the auxiliary pension fund of the police. The same law obliges the football clubs in Greece to pay the fund 5% of the revenue from ticket sales to support its cash availability.

The information provided by the union of police officers in the region of ​​Attica, to which refers, shows that Greek television companies and football clubs have ignored the law and have not allocated the amounts in accordance with the fees set in 2007. The union says that this has cost the fund around two million euro and insists that the management board of the auxiliary pension fund is directly responsible for the uncollected fees. They believe that the management has not made any effort to fulfil its obligations.

The other part of the problem, which the Greek media has been reluctant to consider, is the legality and effectiveness of this type of third-party fees. Financial experts and businessmen, along with the Ministry of Finance believe that the taxes and fees to third parties are one of the most serious weaknesses of the economic system of Greece. This is also the opinion of the experts of the support lenders’ mission from the International Monetary Fund and Europe, who have long advised the government to cancel as soon as possible any additional tax and municipal charges that do not directly benefit the state or the private sector.

The tax and fees to third parties burden the end-user price, have no direct benefit to the state treasury, have a negative effect on competitiveness and are an obstacle to the promotion of business activity in various sectors.

Currently, the government is traversing a period of clearing the unnecessary burdens in the tax and customs system of the country, but the process is long and cumbersome. Experts say that social security funds should be raised from contributions rather than by burdening the revenues from activities that are not directly related to them in order to obtain funds. The investigation by the prosecutors is currently underway but the union of police officers in the region of Attica insists that the criminal negligence of the management of the fund in collecting the due fees will lead to bankruptcy.

Violations of the auxiliary pension fund of law enforcement officers are frequent. According to Star TV, the majority of retired officers in recent years received a pension and a one-off payment corresponding to the rank of general. According to people familiar with the case, this is an old practice and it has led to a deficit of 250 million euro, as claimed by representatives of the Athens police services. The statement refers to a complaint that the union of police officers in the region of Attica has filed. The longstanding practice of draining money through the payment of pensions higher than those due for the police ranks has further contributed to the destruction of the fund.

Tags: EconomyMarketsPolice officersSocial fundTaxes and fees to third parties
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