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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Anti-Corruption Enquiry on Risk to Cover-up illegal Political Funding, eve of Greek Elections

CoE Anti-Corruption Enquiry on Risk to Cover-up illegal Political Funding, eve of Greek Elections

Written by ACM
Monday, 24 June 2019
greco_coe_logo_2019_eurofora_screenshotcoe_400

*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- In an "Urgent" move, decided at the Eve of Crucial forthcoming Elections in Greece, CoE's Anti-Corruption Watchdog, nick-named "GRECO", decided to Launch an exceptional Enquiry on a Controversial attempt, by the Out-Going former Leftist Government in Greece, of "Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' "SYRIZA" Party, to Lower Down the Sanctions for Corruption on Funding Political Activities, (including Parties, Electoral Campaigns, etc), which is scheduled to Enter into Force at the Beginning of July 2019, i.e. practically almost at the Same Time as the Elections of July 7, largely expected to send a New Government from the Center-Right "New Democracy" Party, led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), while the Political Battle is Narrowing down into whether there will be a Sufficient Majority, or not, for an Independent Governance in Greece's foreseable Future.

Indeed, the 70 Years Old, and 47 Member State-strong Today, PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, based in Strasbourg, officially "Decided", at its Plenary Meeting of June 17-21 Last Week (during which EU asked to become Member and enhance EU-CoE Cooperation, with a demand presented by EU Commission's vice-President Timmermans: See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeanticorruptiongrecoandeu.html), "to Initiate an Ad Hoc Procedure in respect of Greece".

Such "Urgent", "Ad Hoc Procedures, in Exceptional Circumstances", are part of "Measures taken" by the CoE in respect of Member-Countries "Found Not to be in Compliance with" (i.e. Violate) "the Anti-Corruption Watchdog's Rules and/or Recommendations,

whenever "GRECO" "Receives Reliable Information ...indicating that a ... Reform ... or ... Change by that Member (State), May Result in ... (a) Serious Violation of a CoE Anti-Corruption Standard", (stresses the relevant "Article 34" of its "Rules of Procedure").

- This Affair is "concerning the Recently Amended Article 236 of the (Greek) Criminal Code, and its Impact on the Effectiveness of the Fight against Corruption" in Greece, according to the Official CoE's Decision.

- CoE, also, "may Name Rapporteurs", "and, if necessary, Carry out a Visit" to the Country, for Enquiry on the spot, (while also Gathering independent Information from various NGOs, Medias, Journalists, Witnesses, etc).

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Among others, it's also the "Union of Attorneys of Greece" ("EEE" : claiming to represent All the Officially sworn Attorneys of the Country), which Warned on June of a Danger to "Push to Fall into Prescription" a lot of "Pending Cases for Corruption of Important General Interest".

 

coes_greco_for_political_fundings_transparency_20182019_eurofora_screenchot_2019_400 

This would reportedly result by a Combination between a "Downgrading of Active Corruption" into a Simple Offense, instead of Crime, Added to a Restriction of the concept of "Civil Servant", etc.

That Controversial Reform is part of a Wider Reshuffle of the Criminal Legislation in Greece, which includes also Other, Various cases of drastically Lowering Sanctions, as, f.ex. in cases of Thefts committed by Gangs and/or Repeatedly, which reportedly risk to fall Down to the mere level of an ordinary Theft, unless the stolen object worths more than 120.000 €, (i.e. a criterium which has nothing to do with the Dangerosity, or not, of the Culprits, as a social reality), threatening to let go free Many Dangerous Criminals currently arrested, according to other Critical Press Reports, citting Police sources.

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 + Meanwhile, "Eurofora" had an opportunity to Speak, Earlier, a the CoE, with several "GRECO"s Experts or Officials, some of whom Expressed their Surprise for the Fact that such a Serious Measure related also to Corruption on "Political Funding", and reportedly Risking to Cover-Up "Serious" "Pending Cases", had been, Curiously, Scheduled by the Out-Going Government, to Enter into Force "Immediately After the forthcoming Elections !"

  ++ Several Judges, (including, f.ex. the 1st vice-President of the "Union of Judges and Attorneys", Panagiotes Liberopoulos, etc), have also Questioned the "Hurry" in which various such and other Important and Controversial Legislative Changes are Scheduled to be Adopted by the Parliament in a strange Procedure of "One (1) Vote" Only for the Entire Revised "Criminal Code", "as if it was 1 Article !", and, reportedly, WithOut Sufficient previous Public Dialogue, not even with Independent Experts, etc, so that Proposals were made to Postopone such a Vote for September 2019, without result.

     However, Risks of Corruption around the Funding of (and/or by) Political Parties concerns particularly Electoral Campaigns, and All, Various, Big or Small, Parties, - including even of the Controversial Rightist "Golden Dawn", whose Public Funds have been Entirely "Freezed" since 2013, and all its Leadership initially Arrested and still Persecuted at the Courts, following the Death of an "Antifa" Militant after an alleged bullying against and a quarell with a Fan of that Party, (previously fan of the ...Communist Party !), while, on the Contrary, the un-provoked Murder of 2 Young Fans of Golden Dawn, and the Serious Wounds inflicted on a 3rd one, (who were Peacefully Guarding the Entrance of a Party's Office in Athens), in a Cold Blood Attack by a heavily Armed Gunman, (100% Filmed twice) soon afterwards, (Later Revendicated by a Self-Proclaimed, unknown yet, Far Leftist Extremist Grouplet), curiously still remain Totaly UnPunished, with Not even 1 Suspect having ever been prosecuted, Not Even almost 6 Years After those Murders (11/2013-2019) ! Meanwhile, to this, was Added, Recently, also a 2nd Rightist Party, which might, according to some Polls, eventually cross the required Threshhold for entering in the Parliament...

    => Thus, it's obviously a "Mystery" how the above-mentioned Party's MPs and overall Organisation practically Survives all these Years, withOut any due Public Funding, and while Facing also a quasi-Total "Boycott"/Censorship by almost All, Public and Private Medias, (except from a Few Websites, sometimes), whic Systematicaly Refuse to Publsh Any Information comming from that Controversial Rightist Party, Not even During Elections-Time. (Massive Censorhsip of which the Medias of the Left had Already Abused, even Against ...the Democratically Elected Government of Greece, by "New Democracy"s Center-Right ChristianDemocrats/EPP, f.ex. Back on 2013, during an Attempt to Reform the National Radio-TV "ERT", when the Goverment's Spokesman then, Minister Simos Kedikoglou, had Denounced to "Eurofora" that even the Official Governemental Press Releases of General Interest Issues for the People, were Not Published, by most Private or "Public" Medias, to the point that the Governing Party's ..."Youth" movement, was Trying to Publish the Official Announements in a Makeshift "Web-Radio" Internet Site !...

 (Needless to say, CoE's competent Director on Freedom of Expression, then, was ...Stoned and made a great Effort to Understand what was really happening then, on August 2013 in Greece, when "Eurofora" called him ! But, finally, he managed to Find his words and Condemn, as a matter of General Principle, Any Violation of Freedom of Expression by systematic Censorship, including that committed by the PowerHolders in Private and Public Medias, even against the Democratically Elected Government of a CoE's Member Country)...

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  + Meanwhile, Concerning the 2019 CoE's Anti-Corruption Watchdog's latest Decision on Greece, (Comp. Supra), "Eurofora" Interviewed also 3 more Experts/Officials of the CoE who Expressed their View about the Serious Importance of that Matter, and Reminded, that more or less Similar "Urgent", "Ad Hoc Procedures" including "Rapporteurs" and on the spot "Visits for Enquiry", had also been decided by the "GRECO" Group in Some Other Cases, (as, f.ex., in Romania, Moldova and Austria, etc).

    - But, Despite (or ..Because ?) of the Politically Topical and too "Hot" aspects of this Affair, finally, CoE's procedures, in real Practice, apparently ...Delayed the Follow up, since it was Asked for Greece to Present a Report only on ...September 2019, (i.e. 2 or 2 Months AFTER the Elections of July, and the Enter into force of the Controversial Legislative Changes), and the Matter was Referred to a Next Plenary Meeting of "GRECO" scheduled for ...December 2019 !

    It's not yet Obvious to "Eurofora" if the above-mentioned "Pending Cases" of "Serious" Corruption ib Greece (Comp. Supra), might avoid, or not, too be, Meanwhile, Forced to Close Down, and be Definitively Droped, (i.e. practically Covered up), until that Time, (as Many had Warned)...

    But, Independently of that, and Despite some (apparently "Anonymous") attempts to push inside CoE's Secretariat to Further Delay the Official Announcements to the Medias up to a "Briefing" of June 25, due to be Followed by a Publication On-Line around  ...June 27 (sic !), (i.e. during a Notoriously Overloaded Period of COE's Parliamentary Assembly, immediately Followed by crucial EU Summits in Brussels and the New EU Parliament's 1st Plenary in Strasbourg, until the Greek Elections...), Nevertheless, "Eurofora" Firmly Believes that, at least, the Greek People and all its Political Leaders, should be well Aware, in advance, of what is really happening, in so Serious Cases concerning them, at the level of the CoE :

    => Therefore, and since the Official CoE's Decision has been Already Taken between 17-21 June 2019, the Time is Obviously Ripe, for a long overdue Publication, at least Now.

 

(../..)


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