Out of the Board of TAIPED is from now and on Mrs Anna Zoirou who in her letter says, among other, that when TAIPED management went to the Parliament to inform the Financial Affairs Committee regarding the EYATH privatization they hid from greek MPs the fact that she had objected to this privatization.
The whole letter by Anna Zoirou
To: His Excellency, the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Antonis Samaras
26 March 2013
Last Saturday, while I were in Brussels working on my PhD, I was informed (off the record instead of by Mr. Stournaras as should formally have been the case) that a decision exists for my replacement. Such decision was taken on Friday 22 March, only a few after receiving Mr. Stournaras’ thanks for the issues I brought to his attention.
The decision for my replacement takes effect only a few days before the completion of the privatization process for OPAP and DEPA-DESFA.
Of course everyone understands that it also is the latest of the actions taken by Messrs Stournaras and Athanasopoulos (you know that the latter is persecuted with felony charges as an embezzler of Public Funds) in order not only to obtain unanimity in the TAIPED Board during the decision taking procedure, both in the above cases and in others to come, but also to stop me from pointing out publicly problems and illegalities that appeared during such.
You, and everyone else involved, know that I never accepted being a puppet of certain interests nor would I ever agree to becoming just another yes-person in a board whose members only seem to care for pleasing those that appointed them there. I have built my career, in Greece and abroad, based on my powers and abilities and always acting according to certain principles I cannot and will not abandon for anyone’s sake.
While working for TAIPED I have continuously been pressed to agree to all proposals. In the cases I had to disagree I insisted that my objections be entered in the minutes of the Board meetings. I also proposed and insisted that such minutes become available to the Greek people, because they have the right to know how the TAIPED Board deals with the public property. I wonder what the Board members are afraid of in and they insist in keeping such documents secret, even to MoPs.
I have to point out too that when the TAIPED Board informed the Parliamentary Committee on Financial Issues on matters concerning EYATh, they “forgot” to mention my disagreement to this privatization procedure. During my term as a TAIPED Board Member, I never ever agreed to anything without first completely examining all issues relevant to the case. Other Board members of course claiming their incomplete knowledge of English technical terms always trustfully consented to the suggestions put forth by Mr Takis Athanasopoulos (the one with the felony charges, in case you have forgotten whom I refer to). Of course I had to object to such breaches of the Board procedures.
I could never consent to hiring “friends” and paying them € 4.000 or € 5.000 per month at a time when the vast majority of the Greek people have to suffer huge cuts in their salaries and pensions, nor could I go along with dubious procedures as the ones followed by other Board Members (on the OPAP Lottery Ticket Public Tender) that led to the exclusion of all contestants, except, of course, a certain one.
As far as DEPA is concerned I still wonder how Members of the TAIPED Board could agree to changing the rules of the Public Tender after the initial offers of the contestants have been received and made public: of course this led to several of the contestants obtaining certain bonuses vs the rest, which obviously directly contravenes the idea itself of healthy competition and equal chances.
I also could not agree to the statement that TAIPED cannot find the time to set up and use an open public competition to obtain the best of advisors needed choosing instead to length or renew existing contracts of several such costing millions of Euros.
To me the actions of Mr. Stournaras are a proof that my stance as to the issues mentioned above, and maybe other ones too, has been annoying to people both in TAIPED and in other places.
In case you are not already aware of it, let me inform you that I completely and absolutely rejected a lot of advances made to me both from and on behalf of several businesses. I always considered that my participation in the TAIPED Board should have as its target the safeguarding of the public interest not the facilitation of those who try to obtain the Greek public property in as low a price as possible.
Several months ago the members of the TAIPED Board unanimously agreed not to sign the contract with OPAP’s technical infrastructure provider in order not to put unneeded restrains to the new owner. This same issue, however, was to be discussed and decided upon in the OPAP Shareholders Meeting of today: TAIPED (through Mr. Athanasopoulos) offered no objections despite there not existing a Board decision contrary to the above.
Finally I feel obliged to point out that I consider it an honor to be replaced because I feared not putting forth and supporting to the end my objections, especially at this time when the Chairman of the Board, who opposed me, is persecuted on embezzlement charges, while the actions of certain members of the Advisory Council are already under investigation by the Greek Courts.
I don’t consider that such actions of your government have any connection with the democratic procedures you claim to use. I feel and will always feel proud for my work with the TAIPED Board. My conscience is clear: I know that I tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to safeguard the public interest and I hope that the day will come when those who did not will answer to justice.
Anyway, the Greek Courts are the ones who will decide on the rationality and the timing of Mr. Stournaras’ decision to replace me such a short time before the completion of the Public Tenders for OPAP and DEPA.
relevant TAIPED Press Release
1st April 2013
Anna Zoirou was relieved from her duties as a member of the Board of TAIPED by decision of the General Meeting of the Fund.
TAIPED does not comment on her statements, however, highlights the following:
The Board members of TAIPED, are appointed by the Greek State and bound with confidentiality obligations. They are called upon to operate and serve with integrity, transparency and efficiency to the purposes of the Fund. At the same time, they must consent to the use of public property in the best possible way, ensuring the legitimacy of the proceedings, but also the highest possible price within the agreed timelines.
In any company or organization anywhere in the world, if a Board member is unable to serve in his role in its specific context, for any reason or expediency, either places him outside the organization or is replaced so the Board can accomplish without problems its plans.