Fuel-smuggling a long-term crime

The ring that was busted yesterday was only the tip of the iceberg

Two years after the passage of legislation to combat fuel smuggling and with consumers freezing thanks to an explosion in taxes on petrol and heating oil, fuel smugglers are still a major scourge as was shown by yesterday’s bust of a fuel smuggling ring that had put thousands of tonnes of marine diesel on the market! Those accused of being central to the conspiracy include Giorgos Spanos, the owner of [the oil company] ETEKA as well as public servants.




A party at the Foreign Ministry with black money

  • Between 2010 – 2011 alone 18 million euros in secret funds were transferred.
  • Over 300 million euros were ’openly’ disbursed to NGO’s between 2004 – 2012
  • An affectionate relationship with the Kokou family and the 2.4 million euro NGO
  • They even paid for the ‘promotion of Christianity in North Korea!’




A German yes to a haircut on condition of reforms

Internal discussions appear to accept the need for drastic solutions

Berlin appears to be attempting a change of course according to the German press, as substantive measures to reduce the Greek debt, including reductions in interest rates and a new ‘haircut’, are being considered but with the unwavering demand that, in exchange, Athens proceeds with reforms. For the first time the German Finance Ministry has confirmed the existence of an internal document which presents various alternatives for dealing with the issue of Greece among which is a proposal for a new ‘haircut’ something which until recently was considered ‘taboo’ for Berlin. These scenarios confirm reporting by ‘Naftemporiki ‘from the 10/2 which referred to an ‘agreement over a reform package with no new fiscal measures’. Also in general agreement with this line is the head of the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW) Prof. Marcel Fratzscher who expressed his support for a combination of solutions including a new ‘haircut’ and a reduction in interest rates.


After the Primary Budget Surplus a Current Account Surplus for the first time since 1948

For the first year since 1948, for which there is available data, in 2013 the balance of current account transactions shows a surplus. The 1.2 billion euro, or 0.7% surplus was the result primarily of a drastic reduction in imports rather than an increase in exports. Despite this, it amounts to a significant adjustment given that in 2012 there was a 17.2 billion euro deficit and in 2008 a 44 billion euro deficit.




80,000 municipal workers are hostages to the elections: the ten steps that will determine their futures

The government is throwing on the table the card of voluntary restructurings prior to local elections, effectively making 80,000 municipal workers hostages to the polls. The first step for municipal mobility schemes [under which municipal workers may lose their positions] is effectively being taken and it is a process that will last at least 80 days which means that the ‘appointment’ of employees to new positions via the mobility scheme will occur in the last third of May which is when the elections will take place. At the same time the municipal employees will be in the ‘quarantine’ of the mobility scheme for the month before the elections, so they will be particularly vulnerable to pressure. Despite the fact that all this amounts to a serious slide at the political. moral and institutional level, the Interior Ministry’s cyclical stresses that the mobility scheme for municipal workers will move ahead and not be affected by the prohibition of administrative changes due to elections.