External experts to examine bad debts of PEPs

External experts to examine bad debts of PEPs

Parliament decided on Wednesday to hire outside experts to audit two lists with the names of politically exposed persons (PEPs) with bad debts in commercial banks and the former cooperative.

An ad hoc committee has ruled that parties have until next week to prepare their position on the mandate of the auditors while the Speaker of the House will have meetings with the attorney general and the data commissioner.

Both lists were published by Parliament on its website against the advice of the Personal Data Commissioner.

Despite bad debts, there was no evidence that any of the officials received favorable treatment from the banks.

House Director Socratis Socratous said the parties decided to hire an external audit firm to review the lists in accordance with terms of reference set by parliament.

Solidarity Party MP Michalis Giorgallas said his party wanted a thorough investigation that went beyond the published data.

“This is the only way to purify the atmosphere; have an effective investigation process, accountability and punishment for anyone who broke the law, ”he said.

But it would also create the necessary political culture the country needs, which would keep those in power away from addictions and corruption.

Green Party MP Giorgos Perdikis expressed concern that other parties appeared to kick the box until after the election.

“It is doubtful whether the investigation will continue with the new parliament,” he said, adding that it seemed others wanted the case closed.

One of the PEP lists was compiled by commercial banks a few years ago and contains hundreds of names of people and businesses related to politicians and their financial transactions.

The second list, comprising 22 names mostly former MPs, eight companies, a union and a football club, was compiled by the audit service as part of a report to Kedipes, the entity that replaced the cooperative, and took over some € 7.5bn of bad debts.

According to the report, PEPs have had substantial loan amounts written off or debts swapped for less valuable assets, among others.