ATHENS – Buried deep in the text of laws, such as the “Measures of Support and Growth for the Greek Economy” passed in March, are provisions that grant immunity from future corruption to thousands of workers in state-funded organizations, the New York Times reported.
Parliament has conducted this practice – slipping such measures into complex bills that have nothing to do with corruption – throughout the year, sparking outrage from law enforcement agencies and the public alike, that Greece’s vaunted pledges to clamp down on corruption are being thrwarted, the Times said.
Critics include New Democracy leader Kostas Tzavaras and the Greek Inspector General Leandros Rakintzis, the Times reported.
The government’s response, according to the Times, was that the March clause was a mistake, and would have no bearing on the effectiveness of future prosecutions.
As it stands, law enforcement has helped to make a dent in the long string of corruption charges plaguing Greece, said the Times. They have already had some success, despite operating on a paltry budget.
One of the most celebrated victories of this sort was last year’s landmark verdict against former Greek Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who was found guilty of establishing an elaborate network to launder money he received in bribes.