Financial prosecutor Grigoris Peponis is to invite officials from New Democracy and PASOK to give explanations about large loans the two parties received from several banks as part of a probe into political funding.
Kathimerini understands that Peponis has asked officials from the two parties to answer questions on February 18 with regard to combined debts of some 250 million euros to banks. New Democracy reportedly owes some 105 million euros to ATEbank and 15 million euros to Piraeus Bank. PASOK reportedly has borrowed 97 million euros from ATEbank, 22 million from Attica Bank, 10 million from Marfin and 5 million from Piraeus. Peponis is investigating the circumstances under which these loans were granted and whether any laws were broken. Both parties are thought to have mortgaged future state funding, which all parliamentary parties receive, to obtain the loans.
Peponis’s move comes as PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos plans to make better financial management within his party one of the main themes for the Socialists’ congress, due to take place at the end of the month. Venizelos proposes creating a five-member financial oversight panel to deal with PASOK’s dire finances. He has also suggested posting all of the party’s income and expenses online, with revenues coming from party membership and functions and state funding.