Thursday April 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
21o C
15o 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)  
PPC to sell 500 mln euros of 3- and 5-year bonds
Greece´s NBG launches 5-year bond to raise up to 750 mln euros
Samaras meeting with Dimon key to Greek return to bond markets
Central Athens cleanup a sign of Greece´s turnaround
Suspect in student´s stabbing alleged to have threatened other pupils
A 22-year-old theology major standing accused of stabbing high-school senior Foivos D. outside his school in Palaio Faliro on Athens's southern coast in January 2013 allegedly threatened oth...
Greeks are the EU´s unhappiest workers, report finds
Greece is the only country among the European Union's 28 members states where fewer than half of its workers claim to be dissatisfied with working conditions, a poll published by Eurobaromet...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
Never underestimate the Greek hoopsters
Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, who between them have won the last three European crowns, won again at home on Wednesday to take their Euroleague play-off series with Real Madrid and CSKA Mosc...
BASKETBALL
Reds and Greens stay alive in Euroleague
Easter – and home advantage – worked wonders for Panathinaikos and Olympiakos who stayed alive in the Euroleague play-offs beating CSKA and Real Madrid respectively on Monday in Greece. Shak...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Putting the party above the country
The case of Sabiha Suleiman, the Roma activist whose candidacy for the European Parliament was announced by SYRIZA only to be withdrawn shortly afterward, is an illustration of the leftist o...
EDITORIAL
Strong card in debt talks
Achieving a primary surplus and having it confirmed by the European statistical agency, Eurostat, is a significant success for Greece. There is no doubt that it came at a heavy price for a l...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Suspect in student´s stabbing alleged to have threatened other pupils
2. Greeks are the EU´s unhappiest workers, report finds
3. PPC to sell 500 mln euros of 3- and 5-year bonds
4. Injured American tourist taken off life support, said to be ´awake and alert´
5. Teen boy arrested in Thessaloniki drug bust
6. European court awards damages for ´degrading´ migrant detention conditions
more news
Today
This Week
1. Putting the party above the country
2. Three missing from cargo ship that went down off Crete
3. Strong card in debt talks
4. Central Athens cleanup a sign of Greece's turnaround
5. Samaras meeting with Dimon key to Greek return to bond markets
6. Police on high alert for Greek Cup final in Athens on Saturday
Today
This Week
1. Greece startup leaders say they can’t break jobless cycle alone
2. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
3. Mayoral candidates clash over Athens mosque plans
4. Government looks to kick on
5. Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
6. EU struggles to unpick the knot of Russia-Ukraine gas logistics
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.