Monday, June 6, 2011

Greece paying pensions to dead people while the living continue drawing down their savings

So as the world waits for the latest news on Greece's impending default-by-another-name, two interesting Reuters stories posted this morning.
First, it has come to light that 4500 dead people are still collecting pensions from the Greek government.
(Reuters) - Thousands of Greeks have been receiving pensions despite being long dead, the Labour Minister said on Monday, promising to crack down on social security fraud that is costing the debt-laden country millions each year.

Minister Louka Katseli also said the government is investigating a suspiciously high number of people over the age of 100 and still drawing their pensions.

Data crosschecks had revealed that about 4,500 deceased civil servants continued getting their pension cheques, burdening taxpayers with more than 16 million euros (14 million pounds) each year, Katseli told daily Ta Nea in an interview.

Based on that news, this next piece should be no surprise: There's a slow run on Greek banks that has been going on for quite some time. April deposits shrunk by another 3.5 billion euros.
Deposits have shrunk by about 13 billion euros since the beginning of the year. In 2010, they contracted by 29.1 billion euros or 12.2 percent.