Such tales of lavish expenses defy the imagination and would be more likely found in a movie script than in modern-day Greece, yet, in the Greek public sector, this is what passes for reality.
The Greek Inspectors-Controllers Body for Public Administration (I.C.B.P.A.) has reported various incidents of “wastage”, including expensive parties, Cuban cigars in ministries or even “golden” bonuses to top students.
Each case is more decadent than the last. The Unified Insurance Fund of the Independently Employed hosted a party with a total cost of 33,500 euros, while the municipality of Ormylia in Halkidiki, northern Greece, staying in the festive spirit of goodwill, spent 6,000 euros on Christmas and Easter cards. Meanwhile, Loutraki Perachoras municipality awarded bonuses to its exceptional students worth 13,000 euros each from the state fund.
This is nothing, however, compared to the 300,000-euro power bill run up by just one state university philosophy faculty last summer, which was incurred by leaving the lights on in an empty building. Yet even that seems rather trivial considering the total of 4.8 million euros spent on designing Greece’s public services’ websites.
Almost last on the list, but not certainly not the least, ICBPA’s report also identifies a 4,500-euro commission by the Municipality of Piraeus for a portrait of its late mayor, while the funeral of his counterpart at the Municipality of Glyfada cost 37,000 euros.
All of which is small fry compared to the Greek Public Power Corporation (DEI) , where between 2008 and 2010 unionists set up a racket worth 1.2 million euros to fund exotic trips.
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