Showing posts with label Corruption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Corruption. Show all posts

Friday, February 23, 2018

Greece Approves Bribery Investigation Involving Political Elite

By Niki Kitsantonis

Feb. 22, 2018
ATHENS — After 20 hours of acrimonious debate, Greek lawmakers on Thursday approved the formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate accusations linking 10 high-profile politicians to bribery by a Swiss drug manufacturer.

The investigation, which will follow separate and secret votes for each of the 10 politicians, was backed both by members of the coalition government and by some in the opposition. It will examine whether the politicians took kickbacks from the pharmaceutical company Novartis, or were aware of illicit payments.

The list of people to be investigated is dominated by the Greek political elite: It includes two former prime ministers, Antonis Samaras and Panagiotis Pikramenos; the current central bank governor, Yannis Stournaras; and the European Union commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos.

Friday, October 20, 2017

China’s leader Xi Jinping declares the start of a “new era”

It sounds much like the old one—only more so

The Economist

Oct 21st 2017 | BEIJING
IN THE days before the opening on October 18th of the Chinese Communist Party’s quinquennial congress, the country’s security officials put their surveillance efforts into overdrive. On Chang’an Avenue, the boulevard that passes by the venue in Tiananmen Square, naked flames were banned. Tough luck for restaurants, family dinners and smokers. Out-of-towners driving to the capital were stopped at checkpoints and made to sign papers promising not to get into trouble during the week of the congress. Foreigners were barred from travelling to Tibet. The region is well over 1,000 miles from the capital, but the party fears that even a lone banner-waving separatist sympathiser that far away could spoil the event in Beijing.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Greece scapegoats a statistician who only did his job

The Washington Post

By Editorial Board August 4
IN GREECE, the lucrative tourism industry is threatened this summer by millions of oversized jellyfish washing ashore on the nation’s beaches. An even slimier development is the ongoing persecution of the country’s first independent chief statistician, whose tough-minded steps to straighten out Greece’s notoriously fraudulent economic data have been repaid with farcical prosecutions by a judicial system rapidly discrediting itself in the world’s eyes.

Andreas Georgiou, an American-trained economist who spent two decades working at the International Monetary Fund, was hired as Greece’s top statistician in 2010 as the country’s debt crisis was spiraling out of control. His goal was to honestly report economic data that for years had been fudged by politicians and officials seeking to minimize their own fateful fiscal mismanagement.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Third migrant dies in a week in harsh Greek camp conditions

Mon Jan 30, 2017 | 1:07pm EST


By Karolina Tagaris | ATHENS
The third migrant to perish in a week was found dead in his tent on Monday on Greece's Lesbos island, raising alarm about the grim winter conditions in overcrowded camps that critics have denounced as deplorable.

The dead man is believed to be about 20 and from Pakistan, a police official on the island said. Another migrant who shared his tent was critically ill and taken to hospital.

The death at the island's Moria camp follows those of a 22-year-old Egyptian and a 46-year-old Syrian who shared a tent and died days apart. Greek media reported they had inhaled fumes from a heater, but authorities would not confirm or deny that.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Greece’s Syriza Defiant After Judges Annul Key Policy

Country’s supreme administrative court rules government acted unconstitutionally by licensing TV broadcasters itself

The Wall Street Journal

Updated Oct. 27, 2016 4:27 a.m. ET

ATHENS—Greece’s ruling Syriza party vowed on Thursday to continue fighting for its radical agenda after judges struck down its plan to revamp Greece’s media sector, the culmination of a weekslong power struggle that produced allegations of blackmail and “fascist” methods.

Greece’s supreme administrative court, the Council of State, ruled late Wednesday that the government, led by the left-wing Syriza party, acted unconstitutionally by licensing TV broadcasters itself, a power that the constitution reserves for an independent media regulator.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The threat from Russia

How to contain Vladimir Putin’s deadly, dysfunctional empire
Oct 22nd 2016

The Economist

FOUR years ago Mitt Romney, then a Republican candidate, said that Russia was America’s “number-one geopolitical foe”. Barack Obama, among others, mocked this hilarious gaffe: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the cold war’s been over for 20 years,” scoffed the president. How times change. With Russia hacking the American election, presiding over mass slaughter in Syria, annexing Crimea and talking casually about using nuclear weapons, Mr Romney’s view has become conventional wisdom. Almost the only American to dissent from it is today’s Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

What is China’s plenum and why does it matter?

Oct 23rd 2016, 23:27 BY J.P. | BEIJING

The Economist

THE 200-odd highest-ranking members of China’s Communist Party—its central committee—meet only once a year. The closed-door gathering is called a plenum. This year’s starts today, October 24th, in Beijing and runs until the 27th. The agenda does not sound consequential. It will discuss, in the unlovely words of the official announcement, “the norms of political life within the party…and a revision to an intra-party supervision regulation.” So why does it matter?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A New Twist on Greece’s Old-Style Dysfunction

A complex scandal signals Syriza is reviving the government-bank-media axis the party once campaigned against.
Sept. 28, 2016 3:54 p.m. ET

The Wall Street Journal

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing in Europe about the rise of right-wing populism, about the clampdown on media freedom and judicial independence in places such as Hungary and Poland. But Greece’s populist government, led by the hard-left Syriza party, seems to share many of the same authoritarian instincts of its formerly communist partners, whose values Syriza claims to abhor.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Greece Cracks Down on ‘Triangle of Corruption’ in TV


The New York Times

ATHENS — Since Greece opened its media to private broadcasting in the 1980s, the market has been an almost unregulated scrum. Licenses are given out on an ad hoc basis. Media outlets have proliferated. The chaos ushered in hundreds of millions of dollars of debt and invited the undue influence of banks, media barons and successive governments.

Now, the government led by the leftist Syriza party under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says it wants to crack down on what it characterizes as a “triangle of corruption,” by auctioning off a limited number of licenses on Tuesday.

But whether that effort is actually aimed at bringing order to the market or is yet another attempt by a Greek government to shape the media to its advantage has set off a hot debate and an intense wrangle for power here.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals


The New York Times

BARCELONA, Venezuela — By morning, three newborns were already dead.

The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, shutting down the respirators in the maternity ward.

Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died.

“The death of a baby is our daily bread,” said Dr. Osleidy Camejo, a surgeon in the nation’s capital, Caracas, referring to the toll from Venezuela’s collapsing hospitals.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Επιστολή του καθηγητή Ιωάννη Π. Ιωαννιδη (έδρα C. F. Rehnborg του πανεπιστημίου Stanford) προς τον κ. Κυριάκο Μητσοτάκη

O Ιωάννης Π.Α. Ιωαννίδης κατέχει την έδρα C.F. Rehnborg πρόληψης νοσημάτων στο πανεπιστήμιο Stanford όπου είναι τακτικός καθηγητής παθολογίας, έρευνας και πολιτικής υγείας και στατιστικής. Έχει διατελέσει επίσης καθηγητής στα πανεπιστήμια Harvard, Tufts, Imperial College και Ιωαννίνων και είναι τακτiκό μέλος της European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Έχει τιμηθεί με επίτιμους τίλους και ανώτατες διακρίσεις από πολλά πανεπιστήμια και ερευνητικούς οργανισμούς. Τα δύο τελευταία βιβλία του (Τοκάτα για την κόρη με το καμένο πρόσωπο [Κέδρος 2012], Παραλλαγές πάνω στην τέχνη της φυγής και ένα απονενοημένο ριτσερκάρ [Κέδρος 2014]) βρεθηκαν στις βραχείες λίστες του Αναγνώστη για τα καλύτερα βραβεία της χρονιάς. Όπως αναφέρει 
στην ιστοσελίδα του
 χαίρεται να διδάσκεται από νέους ανθρώπους όλων των ηλικιών και να του θυμίζουν ότι δεν ξέρει σχεδόν τίποτα.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Russian journalist explains why there is no corruption in Russia

The Washington Post

By Adam Taylor January 28 at 2:33 PM

In the West, many think of modern Russia as near synonymous with corruption. We know all about the oligarchs, the mafia and the "Wild East" capitalism of the 1990s. One recent poll found that Russia was considered one of the more corrupt countries in the world, placing 119 out of 168 on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (where a lower ranking indicates a higher perceived level of corruption).

Friday, January 8, 2016

Be Scared of China's Debt, Not Its Stocks

107 JAN 7, 2016 5:34 PM EST
By Noah Smith
China’s stock market is crashing again. After two days this week with big and rapid declines -- the latest of which shut off trading only a few minutes after the open -- Chinese stocks are back in the neighborhood of their mid-2015 lows. The raft of administrative measures that the Chinese government has used to prop up its markets since the big plunge last year seems to only have postponed further declines, rather than prevented them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

U.S. to banks: 'No such thing as too big to jail'

Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY 6:40 p.m. EDT May 5, 2014
WASHINGTON — Foreshadowing possible criminal charges against banking giants Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, Attorney General Eric Holder offered an ominous warning Monday, saying, "There is no such thing as too big to jail.''

Monday, March 31, 2014

Exclusive: China seizes $14.5 billion assets from family, associates of ex-security chief: sources

BEIJING Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:31am EDT

(Reuters) - Chinese authorities have seized assets worth at least 90 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) from family members and associates of retired domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang, who is at the centre of China's biggest corruption scandal in more than six decades, two sources said.

More than 300 of Zhou's relatives, political allies, proteges and staff have also been taken into custody or questioned in the past four months, the sources, who have been briefed on the investigation, told Reuters.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In Greece, Elites Are Starting to Feel the Pain

JAN. 16, 2014
The New York Times
ATHENS — Since the country’s financial meltdown, Greeks have protested what many here criticize as the unfairness of the biting austerity measures that have raised taxes and trimmed salaries and benefits for average Greeks, while the elite escaped similar burdens or being held accountable for their part in creating the mess in the first place.

Suddenly, to the satisfaction of many here, that dynamic has begun to change. With new vigor, Greek prosecutors working independently of politicians — and sometimes in the face of passive resistance from them — are pursuing corruption cases against a widening pool of current and former high-ranking state officials and members of the business elite once deemed untouchable.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Greece to overhaul defense buying after scandal

ATHENS Fri Jan 3, 2014 12:15pm EST
(Reuters) - Greece will overhaul arms procurement to make it more transparent, Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Friday, after a wide-ranging corruption inquiry led to the arrest of a former defense official and two arms dealers.

Heavy arms spending was one of the reasons Athens piled up debt and had to be rescued with European Union and IMF bailouts totaling 240 billion euros ($328 billion) in 2010 and 2012.

These were accompanied by strict conditions that have increased poverty and unemployment, so the scandal has touched a raw nerve with many Greeks.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Turkey's Byzantine Scandal

Corruption charges threaten the country's Islamist leader.
Dec. 26, 2013 3:07 p.m. ET
 The Wall Street Journal
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spent the past week blaming a burgeoning corruption scandal on foreign plotters. But Wednesday's trio of resignations from his cabinet, which were intended to insulate Turkey's Islamist Prime Minister, had the effect of bringing the scandal to his doorstep.

The Interior and Economy Ministers did their duty by denouncing the investigations and professing the prime minister's (and their own) innocence. But Erdogan Bayraktar, the Minister for the Environment and a confidant of the PM, went out with a bang. Mr. Bayraktar said Wednesday that he was pressured to resign to shield Mr. Erdogan from the scandal, which concerns alleged payoffs to facilitate real-estate development deals. He also suggested that if it was right for him to step aside for the country's sake, then Mr. Erdogan should resign as well.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A former transport minister in trouble

Greek politics
Dec 20th 2013, 16:15 by K.H. | ATHENS
The Economist
ARE old nepotistic habits finally dying in Greece? The arrest on December 17th of Michalis Liapis, an ex-transport minister and first cousin of a former conservative premier, for driving his SUV with fake number-plates and no insurance, suggests that prominent politicians can no longer count on lenient treatment by the police.

Members of parliament enjoy immunity from prosecution unless their peers vote to remove it, a privilege informally extended to scores of ex-cabinet ministers when they leave politics. Like many Greeks cutting costs because of the crisis, Mr Liapis turned in his number-plates this year to avoid paying road tax after it was sharply increased for owners of luxury vehicles. Stopped by police for running a red light in the seaside town of Loutsa near Athens, he explained he was taking the car for a spin to stop the battery from running down. "I am a pensioner and I too have been affected by the crisis,” he claimed.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Corruption in the Middle East

More than red tape
Dec 8th 2013, 18:52 by S.B. | MANAMA
The Economist
THE latest Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, a lobby, does not make happy reading for those in the Middle East. Five Arab countries come among the bottom ten countries for corruption: Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iraq and Syria. The highest ranking of the 177 states included in the study is the UAE at 26. Qatar comes two places further down. Israel fares slightly worse in 36th position. The other Gulf countries do best among the remaining Arab states: Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia follow the UAE and Qatar. Egypt. which desperately needs to kick start its economy after almost three years of turmoil, comes in at a lousy 114 (joint with Indonesia).