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Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcement on the return of funds from the African Union

Tuesday, 07 November 2017

Following instructions from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias, the competent Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under Ambassador N. Vamvounakis, reclaimed, in the framework of efforts towards the recovery of squandered funds, hidden accounts, and the combating of corruption, the amount of €3,590,957.27, which was returned to the Greek State on 3 November 2017. The said sum had been granted on 22 September 2008, following the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between Greece and the African Union, for the funding of a number of programmes.

As was ascertained, these programmes were never implemented, due to lack of monitoring of the agreement’s implementation by the Greek government at the time. Following investigation by the Ministry’s competent services, the funds were returned by the African Union. 

The efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards the recovery of funds granted in the past without the necessary assurances and, often, on programmes of questionable purpose, have borne fruit. Today, taking into account the aforementioned sum and the recently recovered amount of $2.5 million (from the period 2008-2009), these efforts have resulted to the recovery of a total sum that exceeds €14 million.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue in its efforts towards the recovery of state money, and will take every appropriate judicial action to establish liability and fault.