NEWS

Corrupt island official sacked

The director of the town-planning authority on the Cycladic island of Syros, which also makes decisions for the nearby islands of Myconos, Kea and Kythnos, is to be dismissed after tax inspectors discovered more than half a million euros in his bank account and linked him to a string of tax violations carrying a total fine of 877,000 euros. Acting on the orders of the public administration watchdog, Leandros Rakintzis, officials from the tax office on Syros inspected the tax records and bank transactions of Dimitris Boundouris between 1998 and 2006. Their checks highlighted a series of violations with penalties adding up to 877,000 euros. The officials are also investigating the alleged purchase by Rakintzis of a property on the island valued at around half a million euros. The disciplinary council of the Syros local authority office, which has set the ball rolling for Boundouris’s dismissal, condemned the official for his «indecent behavior inside and outside the service.» Defending himself, Boundouris claimed that the 635,000 euros found in his bank account had originated partly from his wife’s business and partly from his work as a consultant, an activity that would be prohibited to him as town-planning chief. His file has been forwarded to an Athens prosecutor who is to determine whether he should face any criminal charges. Meanwhile, Boundouris’s deputy, Kyriakos Diktyopoulos, is on Friday to face the same disciplinary council on Syros after a similar investigation into his tax and bank details indicated that he has assets in excess of 1.5 million euros. Public Administration General Inspector Leandros Rakintzis has ordered similar inspections into the bank and tax details of 57 public servants suspected of graft. «It is in town-planning authorities that we see the highest rate of corruption,» Rakintzis told Kathimerini. He said two reforms would curb graft: the electronic submission of all applications for building licenses and the creation of separate departments for issuing and inspecting licenses.