EFKA chair choice hints at scandal


The appointment of Stathis Marinos to the chair of the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) proved on Wednesday to be much more complex than expected. New Democracy said there may be a conflict of interest with the proposed successor to Thanassis Bakalexis, while SYRIZA deputies also expressed reservations.

Former labor and social security minister Yiannis Vroutsis revealed that while Marinos was a technical consultant to the e-Government Center for Social Security (IDIKA), he would grant projects through direct concessions to his partner, Georgios Karkalis, with whom he had a firm named Safecape Ltd.

Marinos has been a consultant to IDIKA since 2015, and there is a contract for his employment worth 20,000 euros and dated March 26, 2018. He claimed he had transferred his stake in Safecape “yesterday,” but it has also emerged he is close to a relative of the prime minister’s partner, Betty Baziana.

The opposition’s allegations and the widespread concern over Marinos’s efficiency for a labyrinthine entity such as EFKA even led some government MPs to raise objections to his appointment. As only 10 votes out of 20 in the competent parliamentary committee would likely be in Marinos’s favor, chair Nikos Voutsis rescheduled the voting for Thursday afternoon.