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Leading Greek politicians retain wealth during crisis

Ample incomes, mostly declining deposits and some spectacular declarations is probably the best way to sum up the plethora of financial information published on Parliament’s website on Monday as part of the annual process of making politicians’ origin of wealth, or “pothen esches” in Greek, forms public.

The documents, which reveal the state of politicians’ personal finances in 2011, show all of Greece’s main political leaders reducing their savings, despite receiving substantial salaries.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who declared an income of 128,184 euros, and his wife reduced their savings by 24,000 pounds sterling and 12,800 dollars but also transferred the deposits they had abroad, totaling 266,304 euros, to National Bank in Greece.

Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos declared 94,310 euros in wages in 2011, while he and his wife, who own 27 properties, saw their deposits fall from 2.3 million to 1.8 million euros.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said his total income in 2011 was just over 74,000 euros, while from having 11,000 euros in the bank, he was left with only 100 euros.

Independent Greeks chief Panos Kammenos declared an income of around 156,000 euros in 2011, with close to half of that amount coming from the rental of property he owns. His deposits, however, fell from 11,000 euros to around 2,000.

Other notable data on the pothen esches forms include Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarakis purchasing an apartment in London, where he worked before returning to Greece, for 1.3 million euros. SYRIZA MP Dimitris Tsoukalas also caused some raised eyebrows with a deposit of 1 million euros that he declared as payment from a private pension fund he had invested in.

Golden Dawn MPs appeared not to take the exercise of declaring their wealth seriously as four of them, including party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, declared they had no income at all in 2011. Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and his wife Eleni Zaroulia, also an MP, appear to have simply duplicated the information on each other’s forms.

ekathimerini.com , Monday December 16, 2013 (21:02)  
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