Government abolishes SDOE after 24 years in operation

Just 10 days after coming to power the government has abolished the finance ministry's Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE), which was established 24 years ago, triggering staunch criticism from main opposition SYRIZA.

SDOE was abolished by Presidential Decree and will be replaced by General Secretariat for Tax Policy and Public Assets.

The new super-secretariat will merge the functions of a number of hitherto separate directorates and secretariats including the Directorate for Tax Policy of the General Secretariat for Economic Policy, the General Secretariat for Public Assets, the Special Secretariat for Financial and Economic Crime, and the autonomous Directorate for the Investigation of Economic Crime.

The Presidential Decree, which was published in the Government Gazette and came into effect yesterday, 17 July, makes it clear that both SDOE and the General Secretariat for Public Assets have been abolished.

Economic Crime Prosecutor's role uncertain

The General Secretariat for the Investigation of Economic Crime - the mission of which under the Tax Procedures Code is to probe, conduct preliminary investigations, and conduct preliminary criminal investigations into major tax crimes - will continue to exist.

However, the government has not clarified whether the Economic Crimes Prosecutor will continue to play the guiding and coordinating role in the Secretariat.

The decree also abolishes the General Secretariat of the Finance Ministry and the post of General Secretary.

Power concentrated in minister's office

Various bureaus will now be subordinated directly to Finance Minister Christos Staikouras including the Independent Section for Emergency Political Planning, the...

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