A Mystery Erupts At United Nations Over Greece’s Cash

By BENNY AVNI

After sinking millions of dollars into a failed joint project with the United Nations, the government of Greece is asking where its money went.

The country supplied $5 million for the U.N. Thessaloniki Center for Public Service Professionalism, which was established to promote the use of electronic publications in creating good government practices in the Balkans and former Soviet republics. But the outgoing U.N. undersecretary-general for management, Christopher Burnham, said in a letter to the Greek interior minister, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, that taxpayer funds Athens entrusted to the United Nations were misused and mismanaged.

Now the Greek government is seeking to retrieve whatever funds are left from officials with the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which managed the center.

Launched in 1999, the Greece-based project, known as UNTC, was designed to instill such ideals as transparency and accountability in government bureaucrats from emerging Central European democracies.

When asked what, if anything, UNTC has produced in its seven years of existence, a source who has followed it from its inception formed a circle with his hand.

“Zero, zilch,” he said, adding that Italian U.N. officials used up the project’s resources as part of Italy’s struggle with Greece over influence in the Balkans. The source, who requested anonymity, specifically cited the U.N.-based Italian official who oversaw the project, a DESA director named Guido Bertucci.
Source: Source NY Sun

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