State vehicle-leasing plan

The government expects to save millions of euros by selling its current fleet of vehicles, and replacing it with a new fleet under leasing contracts. Finance Ministry officials are to follow the lead of Parliament, which has introduced a program under which MPs have already been given leased cars. A scheme for the replacement of conventional technology cars with new, greener vehicles has been worked out by Economy and Finance Deputy Minister Nikolaos Legas. The move is envisaged to cut excessive state spending, i.e. wasted tax-payers’ money, on maintenance and fuel, as well as on certain «costly irregularities.» Interestingly, the 2008 state budget earmarks -8.8 million under the heading of maintenance and repair of state-use land transport means, in addition to -35.4 million for procurement of spare parts. The above amounts do not include insurance outlays. Rather more complicated is the issue of police car insurance, on account of the special specifications and use of such vehicles under tough conditions. Car companies offering such leasing solutions would also help the state save on service and maintenance, tires, insurance premiums and road tax. For spare parts alone, the Greek police currently spend an annual -11.5 million. Some special-purpose army vehicles and fire-engines are to be excluded from the leasing solution. The existing state fleet is to be auctioned by the Public Property Management Organization (ODDY). Ministry officials say that the leasing solution would also help cut fuel and lubricant costs, currently standing at -225 million annually. Finance Ministry inspection services have also found extensive unlawful use of state fuel, estimated to be costing the state some -60 million each year. To prevent state fuel from being unlawfully pumped into private vehicles, the ministry plans to install pump nozzles of a different size that will not fit in the tanks of private cars. Officials say this would make it impossible for private vehicles to be supplied with fuel from state stations. European countries have also been facing similar problems with fuel misappropriation, but have recently managed to cut the phenomenon by as much as 30 percent. How? Simply by utilizing advanced technology. In Greece, too, special microchips are to be placed not only in pump nozzles but also in the gas tanks of state vehicles, in an effort to curb the unlawful supply of private vehicles with state fuel and keep track of the fuel used by state vehicles.

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