GNTO staff given jail time for demanding bribe

An Athens misdemeanors court on Tuesday passed down three-and-a-half-year jail terms to a regional director of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) in Thessaloniki and her employee after finding them guilty of demanding bribes.

The 55-year-old director and her employee, aged 50, were arrested after the latter was caught by police in the act of accepting a bribe from the owner of a restaurant in the resort of Platamonas in Pieria. The employee is said to have demanded 3,000 euros to approve a restaurant permit before settling on the 2,500 euros offered by the businessman, who had informed the police.

In court, the 50-year-old blamed her boss who, she said, made her act as a mediator in securing bribes and would sometimes give her a cut of the takings. The director refuted the accusations. The court was unconvinced by both stories and issued unsuspended jail terms. Both women appealed the rulings and were released pending their hearings.

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