‘Unchecked’ Greek NGOs to be investigated

Athens appeals court prosecutor Yiannis Sakellakos has ordered an investigation into allegations about the lack of transparency and financial mismanagement at Greece’s non-governmental organizations, following a parliamentary report that suggested little control was exercised over the NGOs.

MPs Thanassis Tsouras and Yiannis Tragakis presented their findings at a session of Parliament’s Institutions and Transparency Committee on Tuesday. They suggested that there were between 20,000 and 30,000 NGOs in Greece but that there was no official register and no way to monitor their activities.

Appearing before the committee, Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis said that the government plans to introduce new legislation in April but said that tight controls are already exercised over state-funded NGOs.

He said that last year, Greece gave 26 million euros to 528 NGOs. Of this money, 1.5 million euros went for ongoing programs in Greece and the rest covered the country’s international commitments on aid for developing countries.

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