Sunday October 26, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o 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)  
Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
SMEs unable to claim subsidies
Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
Authorities began on Saturday assessing the damage done by flash floods in various parts of Athens a day earlier, with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledging that all those affected would b...
No court hearings for civil cases
Greek courts are to stop conducting hearings, which include witness questioning, for civil cases, according to plans drawn up by the Justice Ministry. Kathimerini understands that in a bid t...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
End of reason, end of humanity
The effects of a slew of new and increased taxes introduced since the start of the crisis were first observed in the wages of those still fortunate enough to have jobs, who saw their take-ho...
EDITORIAL
Banks need to step up
What has been leaked so far regarding the results of the stress tests on Greece’s lenders, which are due to be published on Sunday, appears positive. Greece needs a healthy, private banking ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
2. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
3. No court hearings for civil cases
4. Greece’s lenders seem adamant that gov’t must act on bailout commitments
5. Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
6. Policeman admits to murder of his cousin-in-law
more news
Today
This Week
1. End of reason, end of humanity
2. Banks need to step up
3. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
4. Greece’s lenders seem adamant that gov’t must act on bailout commitments
5. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
6. No court hearings for civil cases
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.