Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Greece: Statistical improbabilities and corruption

/ lottery / laundering /
Chris Deliso, over at Balkanalysis has a great article regarding corruption in the Greek football pools, and the imaginative ways people use around here, to launder money...
It is worth adding that most Greek newspapers and certainly TV stations are pretty much ignoring or downplaying the issue. Which is amazing, since they are currently preoccupied with vastly more minor scandals concerning the government. Right now Kokkalis is in a truce with most of the other Greek media barons - with the exception of Alafouzos, owner of Kathimerini and Skai radio.

As the article mentions, there is, statistically, no doubt of very vile foul play in OPAP (the Greek lottery and betting company - a monopoly), and the fact that the wife of a close business collaborator of controversial Intralot owner Sokratis Kokkalis being the recipient of such good luck, suggests that it reaches pretty high. Most of the local media ignores it though. This should be contrasted with the fuss they made when Kokkalis shut down "Flash Radio", his radio station, for no apparent reason other than a deal he has allegedly made with the conservative government promising to shut down critical voices he owns against it, in return for keeping his rather large share of public works and supplies - or something similar.

This is a wonderful case study in Greek corruption - and media control. It is impossible to read or hear about a scandal without wondering who benefits from its exposure. The fact that a majority of media moguls run their media businesses at a deficit - in order to prop up their far more lucrative activities as suppliers and contractors to the Greek government is indicative of a rather serious societal and economic malaise. To the detriment of the Greek taxpayer of course - not to mention a majority of underpaid media workers.

No comments: