NEWS

PM’s aide to reveal source

The probe into the Zachopoulos case is expected to take another turn this week, as the head of the prime minister’s press office, Yiannis Andrianos, is due to tell magistrates who gave the government the DVD at the center of the investigation. Government sources revealed over the weekend that Andrianos will no longer argue that he is protecting his sources and would offer the name of the journalist who allegedly handed over the DVD that contains footage of former Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos having an affair with his assistant. Police have concluded that the DVD has been edited so magistrates are keen to speak to the person who supplied it as they try to learn who was involved in the secret filming and alleged blackmail of Zachopoulos. PASOK spokesman Yiannis Ragoussis said yesterday that the government’s apparent decision to reveal the name of their source would constitute «a great victory for us, the press and everybody that is fighting for transparency in this country’s public life.» Authorities are also investigating whether Zachopoulos mismanaged any of the funds he controlled at the ministry. This has prompted the government to line up new legislation to fight possible corruption in the public sector. Ministries often have so-called special accounts, where money that is usually not recorded in the state budget is deposited to pay for a range of things that include bonuses to employees and funding for organizations associated with the ministries. It is estimated that some 4 billion euros was transferred from these accounts last year. Now, the Economy and Finance Ministry is planning to pass a law that will do away with these special accounts. Sources told Sunday’s Kathimerini that the bill is likely to be submitted to Parliament in about a month. The issue is likely to be at the heart of discussions during a conference on «The State and Corruption» at the Athens Concert Hall today, which is being organized by the Greek branch of the corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) in cooperation with Kathimerini and Skai TV. The general manager of TI in Greece, Aris Syngros, said that the government’s plan to get rid of the ministries’ special bank accounts would be a «hugely positive step.»