Friday October 31, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Gov't launches effort to stop benefit fraud

By Penny Bouloutza

Virtually all welfare benefits currently granted by the state are set to be scrutinized by officials at the Health Ministry in the coming months in a bid to combat extensive cases of fraud.

All benefit recipients will have to register at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau (KEP). Municipalities are about to start sending out notifications for the process, which is expected to last through February, and when the registration period is up authorities will go through the collected data in a bid to identify cases of fraud that appear to mostly involve multiple registrations.

Prompted by recent allegations of bogus benefit claims, the ministry has drawn up a rather unusual national disabilities map depicting suspiciously high incidences of particular ailments. Residents of Viotia, central Greece, for example, appear particularly sensitive to asthma attacks as an unusually high number of patients receive benefits for the illness.

Similarly, the southeast Aegean island of Kalymnos appears to have an exorbitantly large occurrence of mental ailments, while Zakynthos in the Ionian could well be described as the “island of the blind.” A doctor on the island allegedly charged 5,000 euros to provide blindness certificates.

Meanwhile, data on Thessaloniki collected by the ministry point to a significant rise in the number of people with severe disabilities <+dash><+roman> particularly among Roma and ethnic Greeks from the Black Sea region. More than 1,150 inhabitants were in 2010 listed as heavily disabled, prompting Deputy Health Minister Markos Bolaris to say that the figure “would have been appropriate if Greece had fought in the Vietnam War.” Corinth also has an inordinately high number of disabled benefit claimants.

Some 210,000 people are currently earmarked for benefits, a figure that is mainly attributed to multiple registrations, which Bolaris describes as “provocative.”

Municipalities are not free of blame for the situation, since they have failed to make use of a digital database, known as the Greek Public Administration Network (OPSNA), which alerts of multiple entries. But according to Bolaris, some municipalities have deactivated the system while others have installed their own software. There is also a number of municipalities that have stuck with written records.

Following the new census, authorities are hoping to trim at least 250 million euros from a total 6.2 billion spent annually on social welfare benefits, Bolaris said, while multiple registrations will be erased.

People who receive benefits for disabilities, housing and other categories of beneficiaries are to be invited to sign up at their local KEP between February 1 and March 15 providing full details. Benefit claimants can give power of attorney to someone else in cases where they themselves are unable to show up at the KEP.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday Jan 15, 2012 (21:43)  
Eurozone inflation up, unemployment steady, Eurostat reports
Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
Cyprus’s Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
PSI victims protest in Athens, Thessaloniki
Holders of Greek state bonds staged a protest rally outside the Finance Ministry in Athens on Friday, demanding amends for their substantial losses after the PSI debt restructuring in 2012. ...
Archaeologists find underground vault in Amphipolis tomb
Archaeologists digging at a tomb dating to the era of Alexander the Great in ancient Amphipolis in northern Greece have unearthed an underground vault, the country's Culture Ministry said Fr...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
SOCCER
Berg returns to add spice to Panathinaikos´s Cup win
The second round of games for the group stage of the Greek Cup produced plenty of interesting games and results in midweek, but it still lags the upset potential that the knock-out stages of...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The judiciary’s responsibility
The reform efforts over the past few years have begun to bear fruit. Greece has improved its standing in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings, rising 48 positions from 2010 to 61st place...
EDITORIAL
Findings raise eyebrows
An investigation into money transferred to foreign banks by civil servants since 2010, when Greece’s brutal debt crisis erupted, has come up with some striking findings. The checks, which we...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. PSI victims protest in Athens, Thessaloniki
2. Archaeologists find underground vault in Amphipolis tomb
3. Eurozone inflation up, unemployment steady, Eurostat reports
4. Nikos Dendias appointed defense minister
5. Police clear apartment used by rebel monks
6. Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
more news
Today
This Week
1. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
2. Cyprus’s Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
3. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
4. New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
5. Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
6. Traffic accidents rise 1.3 pct in August, year-on-year
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.