NEWS

Pension applications were ‘hidden,’ claims Greek opposition MP

pension-applications-were-hidden-claims-greek-opposition-mp

A prominent conservative MP and former minister, Yiannis Vroutsis, on Tuesday called on the Labor Ministry to respond to allegations that its online system for Single Social Security Fund (EFKA) pension applications was tampered with and thousands of applications removed.

In a question submitted in Parliament for Labor Minister Effie Achtsioglou, Vroutsis asked whether the ministry’s online system had been tampered with in order for applications to be removed at a time that Greece’s international creditors had been pressing authorities to reduce the debt burden of Greek social security funds.

Vroutsis, who is a former New Democracy labor minister, said the alleged tampering took place in 2017 and 2018, referring to an “unacceptable, unprecedented act,” and suggested that unidentified perpetrators may have used the access codes of ministry employees to remove applications from the online system.

Responding to Vroutsis’s accusations, Deputy Social Security Minister Tasos Petropoulos spoke of “lies” that undermine the state pension system.

The majority of the applications in question were either incomplete, lacking crucial details, or had been lodged by self-employed professionals with debts in excess of 20,000 euros, Kathimerini understands.

Those applications were therefore moved off the electronic register, experts said, adding however that these applications will be “revived” once the required additional documents are submitted or the debts in question paid.