Ex-Thessaloniki mayor to stand trial for embezzlement

Former Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos and 17 other people are to stand trial for allegedly embezzling almost 52 million euro from the municpality?s coffers.

The suspects include department directors, deputy mayors and a former general secretary. So far, one municipal employee has been jailed for embezzlement after admitting to stealing 1 million euros.

Papageorgopoulos served two terms as Thessaloniki mayor before being replaced by Yiannis Boutaris following last November?s local elections.

Boutaris accused Papageorgopoulos of providing inaccurate financial figures when he took over at City Hall. Papageorgopoulos denies all charges.

?Finally, after 4.5 years after I uncovered the embezzlement by a corrupt municipal employee, this case is coming to trial,? said Papageorgopoulos. ?At last, it is time for the slanderers to be exposed.?

The ex-mayor and former deputy mayor Michalis Zoridis had their bail set at 300,000 euros.