International review

Former TAP chief exposes corruption at Culture Ministry agency

Source: Ekathimerini.

This material belongs to: Ekathimerini.

Nearly half the visitors to Greece’s most popular tourist attraction were granted free admission in 2015, according to the former head of the Archaeological Receipts and Expropriations Fund (TAP).

Of the 2.1 million visitors to the Acropolis, 1.1 million received a free-entry ticket that year, Aspasia Louvi told a press conference in Athens Tuesday, in which she revealed details of extensive corruption and mismanagement inside the organization, which comes under the Culture Ministry’s jurisdiction.

“This press conference should not become the subject of political confrontation… because it concerns an ailment that goes back at least 30 years,” she said.

According to Louvi, TAP, which is obliged by law to provide compensation to property owners over the temporary or permanent deprivation of land use for the protection of monuments or excavations, flagrantly breached rules stipulating that the full sum of compensation cannot exceed the value of the property in question on a number of occasions.

TAP’s ex-president also claimed that the Greek state had for years footed the water and electricity bills of numerous snack bars operating in the country’s museums and archaeological sites, even though their concession contracts stipulated that utility costs be covered by the businesses themselves.

Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou sacked the fund’s previous board of directors in mid-August. No adequate explanation has been given for the decision.