NEWS

Diamandouros’s plan to fight graft in town planning

You submitted a proposal concerning corruption in town-planning services. What was the essence of it? During my term as Ombudsman in Greece, the town-planning authorities, especially in local government and prefectures, had a high incidence of bad management and frequent violations of the law, behind which the likelihood of corruption was often apparent. The essence of the proposal contained in the Ombudsman’s special report which I submitted to the prime minister, was that combating corruption necessitated: First, tackling the conditions that caused delays in examining applications by members of the public and which offer powerful incentives to everyone involved to seek unlawful and illegal methods of expediting the process of examining their case, like the so-called grigorosimo, or «speed-up bribe,» and so on. And second, activating the monitoring mechanisms at the regional general-secretary level, which are already provided for in the legislation, so as to stop any illegal behavior by representatives of local or prefectural government.