The European Union’s newly established European Public Prosecutor’s Office will have a heavy case load, Greece’s EU prosecutor Dimitrios Zimianitis told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) on Monday.
Zamianitis, newly appointed to the Office by the EU Council, noted that “over 3,000 cases of great importance, often of interborder nature or of organized crime that are now handled by national judicial authorities will be submitted to the new judicial board, which will assume their management.”
The Prosecutor’s Office will focus on financial crimes against the European Union’s interests such as subsidies, procurements, revenues and VAT fraud across borders.
As the Greek EU prosecutor said, “priority will be given to the speedy turnaround of such cases through new means and jurisdictions the new European body has.” The cases leading to prosecution will be referred to judicial authorities of member states that will be responsible for recovering the lost funds.
He cited a report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) that estimates EU losses due to fraud to 50 billion euros annually.
Zamianitis also expressed concern over the management of EU Recovery funds earmarked for the coronavirus repercussions to member states, which could lead to a multiplying of cases the Prosecutor’s Office is called upon to handle. As he said, during his tenure he keeps in close contact with Greek authorities, including the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court prosecutors, to ensure that Greece participates fully in the new body.