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Nationwide investigation ordered into use of EU funds

Financial prosecutor Panayiotis Athanasiou on Wednesday ordered a prosecutor in the region of Evrytania, central Greece, to conduct a preliminary investigation into the circumstances under which the family of former Transport Minister Michalis Liapis allegedly transformed a holiday home in the area into a guesthouse following allegations that the family used European structural funds to renovate the property.

The family of the former minister who received a four-year suspended prison sentence last month for driving a car with forged license plates has denied the allegations and claims that the property was run as a guesthouse by his aunt, who bequeathed the property to Liapis when her husband died.

The Evrytania prosecutor will investigate the terms under which the EU funding was granted and how the money was used.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani on Wednesday issued a circular to all appeals court prosecutors in Greece ordering them to conduct their own investigations into how European Community and state funding has been disbursed and used in their areas of jurisdiction to ascertain whether subsidies were used as intended.

She added that individuals found to be in violation of the terms of the subsidy programs under which they received funding will have to return the money to the state.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday Jan 8, 2014 (21:15)  
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