NEWS

Police force said to be running out of cash

The police force is experiencing an economic crisis of its own and is relying on reserve funds to cover basic operational needs, sources have told Kathimerini.

As coffers run dry, the force has been obliged to dip into funds set aside for the police’s counterterrorism operations, according to sources who warn that there might soon be no cash for the transfer of detainees.

Kathimerini has learned that all expenses above 300 euros will henceforth have to be approved by the Finance Ministry’s fiscal inspection agency. But police sources complain that this process takes a week and cannot apply to expenses required urgently.

Some police precincts also have a problem with fuel for their vehicles. Police cars and motorcycles generally fill up at military units, but in parts of the country where there are no military facilities, many gas station owners are reportedly refusing to continue giving police gasoline on credit.

Another problem is that much of the force’s fleet of patrol cars and motorcycles are reportedly no longer roadworthy and there is no cash to replace them.

The news of the force’s financial problems came as Citizens’ Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis heralded the creation of a new body to tackle cases of police misconduct after a draft bill outlining the initiative was discussed in Parliament. The bill was approved in principle, though only by lawmakers from ruling PASOK, while opposition MPs backed some of the provisions. Responding to questions from opposition deputies about the new body, which would be made up of former judges, Papoutsis said its aim was not to overhaul the existing disciplinary code, but to try and make officers more accountable for their actions, as well as bringing Greek procedures into line with European Union standards.