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25 billion euros lost to illicit fuel

The Greek debt would be 25 billion euros lighter if the governments of Greece over the last few years had struck at the “mafia” that plunders the fuel sector.

According to secretary general for transparency, Giorgos Sourlas, testifying before the parliament committee on institutions and transparency noted that lost state revenue for the last 25 years, was on average one billion euros a year.

“These circles acted uninhibited for many years,” said Mr Sourlas and shocked his audience when he said that before the euro the proceeds the “fuel mafia” enjoyed were to the tune of a billion drachmas a day, the equivalent of a little over 2.5 million euros.

A similar situation was described by Mr Sourlas as plaguing the fuel purchases for the Armed Forces, ever since the dictatorship. The secretary general noted that soon there will be revelations concerning fuel adulteration for armed forces supplies.

Mr Sourlas noted that after the current defense minister Dimitris Avramopoulos called the financial crime squad to inspect armed forces fuel depots, illicit activities decreased dramatically.

The general secretary reiterated his willingness to eradicate the “circles of corruption,” but he has been tilting at this windmill for over a decade and no one has ever heeded his call