ATHENS – With banks hounding people who can’t pay because of austerity measures, Greek financial prosecutors are again probing how the major rival New Democracy and the former PASOK parties were able to get big loans and aren’t repaying them, along with the Communists.
An investigation is underway and will summon 60 people into the funding of political parties in the period from 2002 until 2012, said Kathimerini, focusing on 50 former banking executives and 10 party officials for possible breach of faith and instigation to breach of faith, respectively.
Some 270 million euros ($313.81 million) in loans were given by bankers from the now-defunct ATEBank, which went under because of bad loans, and also by the National Bank of Greece, with bank officials who granted them given immunty.
The only collateral was state funding by taxpayers that is given to political parties in power but is far less than the loans. There was no accounting of where the money went, how it was spent, who handled it and why it’s not being repaid.
The ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, which said New Democracy and PASOK were corrupt, isn’t being investigated because it’s paying back what it owes, the paper said.
A law passed by the Greek Parliament in 2013 when New Democracy was in power and had PASOK as a junior partner, protected bank officials who okayed the loans so the case will focus on how that was applied, it was said.
The issue had been investigated in 2013 and dropped without any explanation why the money wasn’t being repaid nor where it went. Prosecutors are basing their new case on a report compiled in 2017 by a parliamentary inquiry for further investigation.