Olympic’s finances scrutinized

Transport Minister Christos Verelis yesterday called for a probe and disciplinary action against Olympic Airways (OA) employees following a report that corrupt officials defrauded the chronically ailing state carrier out of hundreds of billions of drachmas. Yesterday’s Ta Nea quoted an auditor investigating the company’s Thessaloniki accounting office as saying in a report that he had found indications that OA employees would quietly write off debts owed by travel agencies in return for huge bribes. «I am certain hundreds of billions of drachmas in public funds have been squandered,» the auditor’s report said. Verelis wrote to the Athens and Thessaloniki public prosecutors telling them that «if new evidence emerges in the case,» to «take all appropriate action, even if that involves reopening court decisions, to ensure that the case is fully resolved.» In a letter to OA Chairman Dionysis Kalofonos, Verelis called for «anyone believed to be involved in the case, irrespective of the case’s progress so far in court, to be relieved of their duties.» He said the airline should try to reclaim any missing funds.