Gov't on audits of NGOs' finances

Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis on Wednesday commented on media reports focusing on state financing towards NGOs, charging that “when our government took office we found that Hellenic Aid managed funds allocated for NGOs in a way that was not only unclear but scandalous”.

"The evidence available is indisputable and if investigated by a prosecutor it will be made clear who used the funds of NGOs, in what way and for what purposes ...”.

Petalotis stated that as soon as the government took office decided to “freeze” all future developmental assistance programmes until an investigation was completed as regards past practices.

On Tuesday, Court of Appeals chief prosecutor Yiannis Sakellariou ordered an investigation into all NGOs financed by the state or EU since 1997.

A first instance court prosecutor was assigned with the investigation of roughly 600 NGOs set up in the past 14 years, focusing on their activities, the funds they have received - either from the Greek state or from the EU - and the way the money was used.

The chief prosecutor’s decision was based on media reports and charges by a private individual alleging a total lack of monitoring into NGOs' financing.

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