ATHENS – Two former senior officials of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) received suspended prison sentences after being found guilty of taking bribes to help businesses in Greece’s tourism sector by a Thessaloniki court.
Their names were not revealed, customary in Greece even for those convicted of crimes unless they are very prominent public personalities.
One of the officials, a former GNTO regional director, received a suspended term of three years and nine months and the other got a two-and-a-half year sentence, said Kathimerini.
The two women were arrested in August 2012 after they were found to have demanded 2,500 euros from a businessman in Pieria, northern Greece, in exchange for a permit to operate a bar at a hotel he owned.
The second official was caught in the act of accepting the money from the hotelier. No reason was given for the lenient sentences in which neither convict will spend a day in jail.
Greece ranks among the most corrupt countries in the European Union and the world and it’s common for officials to seek bribes in return for permits, licenses or other special favors and prosecution and jail time is rare.