Greece’s social security funds will save 750 to 800 million euros per year thanks to a clampdown on pensions and benefits that were wrongly paid or falsely claimed, according to outgoing Labor Minister Giorgos Koutroumanis.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Koutroumanis said that about 200,000 false claimants have been discovered during checks over the past two years. A ring involving several employees at the IKA social insurance fund in Kallithea, southern Athens, was found earlier this year to be using forged papers to pay out health benefits. On the island of Zakynthos, doctors and officials were implicated in the granting of an inexplicably high number of benefits for blind people.
Koutroumanis said it had been agreed that a new body would be set up to manage the payment of pensions and benefits in an attempt to stamp out fraud and costly mistakes, such as retirement payments being paid to dead pensioners. The next government will also have to decide how many of around 90 different social benefits will be scrapped.