Municipal funds withheld due to embezzlement

Municipal funds withheld due to embezzlement

The Interior Ministry has rejected an appeal by the municipal authorities of Thessaloniki against a decision that suspends city funding due to massive debts run up by former municipal officials who were convicted of embezzlement.

According to the decision, funding that had been slated for Thessaloniki authorities would be offset by the municipality’s debts, the bulk of which were run up by a previous administration accused of embezzling 18 million euros. The current administration appealed to the ministry for the decision to be revoked back in February but the appeal has been rejected, it emerged Monday.

The former mayor of Thessaloniki, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, was released from Diavata Prison last month after serving one-fifth of a 12-year sentence for embezzling money from municipal coffers. Originally given a life sentence in 2013, when several municipal officials were convicted in the same affair, his term was reduced in 2014 and he was given early release in July thanks to a law that offers lenient treatment for the disabled or seriously ill as he has heart problems.

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