ATHENS – New Democracy’s former Party Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis, 58, has taken over the position of Greece’s Consumer Ombudsman, replacing Evangelos Zerveas who served a six-year term.
During Zerveas’ term in office, the independent watchdog supervised the European Consumer Centre-Greece and mediated between banks and debtors for the settlement of unserviced loans.
The authority also undertook independent action in an effort to eradicate dysfunctions in crucial sectors of the market, namely, banks, insurance, telecommunication, energy and private education, it was said, although the office has limited powers to intervene in cases where consumers are wronged.
The Ombudsman investigates individual administrative actions or omissions or material actions taken by government departments or public services that infringe upon the personal rights or violate the legal interests of individuals or legal entities.
Before submitting a complaint to the Greek Ombudsman, the complainant should first come into contact with the public service involved with his or her case. Only if the problem is not resolved by the service concerned should a complaint be submitted to the Ombudsman.
The Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency approved the appointment, which was backed by the ruling parties of New Democracy and its partner the PASOK Socialists. All the parties of the opposition, SYRIZA, KKE, DIMAR, Golden Dawn and ANEL voted “present”.