IKA chief pledges action over Zakynthos ‘blindness’ claims

The head of Greece?s main social security fund has said that action will be taken to punish people involved in issuing false blindness certificates to residents of Zakynthos and to recover benefits paid to fraudsters.

Speaking to Skai TV, IKA-ETAM director Rovertos Spyropoulos made the comment after checks revealed that the majority of people on the Ionian island who had been claiming disability payments for blindness have no serious problems with their sight.

During checks earlier this year, the fund found that 388 islanders were claiming the benefits.

It asked all these people to submit themselves for new medical checks. Of those, 167 did not come forward. Of the remaining 221, only 39, or just under 20 percent, were found to have complications with their sight.

Zakynthos mayor Stelios Bozikis said that the fraudulent claims were costing the Greek state 2.5 million euros per year.

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