Greece’s new New Democracy administration named Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) policy analyst Angelos Binis head of the new anti-corruption agency, the Transparency Authority.
First reported by Sydney’s Greek City Times, the appointment was seen a key part of the government’s aim to rein in runaway corruption in a country where everyone from doctors to bureaucrats have had their hands out for “fakelaki,” envelopes stuffed with cash, to insure services are rendered better and faster.
Binis has had extensive experience in anti-corruption efforts and he’ll need it for his homeland, the appointment coming a few days after the high court’s prosecutor in charge of running down corruption, Eleni Touloupaki, brought charges against 38 people linked to Piraeus Bank bad loans and transferring money abroad in violation of capital controls ending Sept. 1.
The controls were put in place in the summer of 2015 by then-Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to prevent a run on the banks when customers feared he would lead Greece out of the Eurozone or seize accounts.
The suspects, who include bank employees of the bank, are to face charges of breach of faith and money laundering while charges against two high-ranking bankers originally implicated dropped due to a lack of evidence, said Kathimerini.
Binis has served in Greece’s General Accounting Office of State and the Public Administration Inspectorate, and since September 2015 as a consultant-analyst on transparency and corruption issues for the Paris-based OECD.
The new independent authority will have the powers and responsibilities formerly under the state’s public administration inspection services with a source not identified telling the Australian-based site that “by proposing that this authority be staffed by a public-sector technocrat with no party background indicate the government’s absolute commitment to a real institutional and operation depoliticization of the control of corruption.”
Prior to the OECD, Binis served six years with Greece’s Inspectors-Controllers Body for Public Administration (ICBPA) as head inspector for the agency, which, while not independent was charged under law to “step up the fight against corruption, maladministration, ineffectiveness, low productivity, and low quality of the services rendered by the public organizations.”
Last year, said Compliance Week, he wrote an article showing his mindset about the difficult task of taking on issues like graft and bribery, writing of what he called an “implementation gap” and noting that few public companies in Greece currently have a “substantial risk management function” with inadequate cybersecurity in place.
Greece’s Parliament only just recently adopted the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) under the threat of penalties otherwise if undone.