Greek financial prosecutors are preparing to send the findings of their investigations into party funding to the Parliament controlled by the parties who got the loans they haven’t repaid even though recently-passed laws giving immunity to bank officials for granting loans without proper collateral mean no one will be prosecuted.
The ruling New Democracy Conservatives and one of their coalition partners, the PASOK Socialists – who had taken turns ruling the country the previous 40 years, during which they packed public payrolls with hundreds of thousands of needless workers in return for votes, helping create a crushing economic crisis – owe Greek banks 250 million euros ($326.3 million) – but aren’t paying.
The newspaper Kathimerini said it has has learned that the prosecutors, who have questioned officials from New Democracy and PASOK over their parties’ combined debts, are determined that the results of their probe should reach Parliament – which is controlled by the parties being investigated and has passed an amendment giving legal protection to bank officers who approved the questionable loans, effectively creating a political slush fund.
The banks are dependent on the government to provide recapitalization monies after being brought to the edge of ruin when former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, now head of PASOK, hit investors with 74 percent losses in a bid to write down the country’s debt.
While the banks aren’t attempting to collect the political loans – which the parties receive on top of getting money from the treasury and yet still haven’t paid their staffs – Greeks who owe mortgages, loans and credit cards are being hounded to repay everything despite big pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions being imposed by successive PASOK and New Democracy governments, with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ current administration also getting the approval of the tiny Democratic Left (DIMAR) in implementing austerity.