Transport ministry denies ‘Eleftheros Typos’ report on Thessaloniki transport company

The infrastructure and transport ministry on Sunday denied a report by the newspaper “Eleftheros Typos tis Kyriakis” and said there was no truth to claims that the Thessaloniki transport company OASTh was covering the rent and travel expenses of its CEO Stelios Pappas.

The ministry accused the newspaper and websites “affiliated to main opposition New Democracy” of attempting to generate a negative climate ahead of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) about a supposedly “bad, party-appointed new management for OASTh”.

“Until three weeks ago, the only thing assured was not the city’s transport, not the buses and how many of them would daily serve citizens, not how there would be transparency and good management, not the social contribution of urban transport but the assured profits of the old shareholders and the hundreds of millions in subsidies each year from the Greek state and Greek citizens,” the ministry noted.

The ministry press release also questioned the accuracy of figures given by the paper for the salaries of the former head and deputy head of OASTh, noting that the sums given were not the gross salaries – which were considerably higher – but their net pay after taxes and contributions.

The gross monthly salary of the current CEO was 4,500 euros, the press release said, while the net amount was not guaranteed as it had been for his predecessor. The apartment building that he occupied in Thessaloniki was not new as the report had claimed but built in 1975, the ministry added.

It further questioned the figures given for the pay of OASTh board members, reporting that the gross cost of the new board does not exceed 7,200 euros gross a month, while the sum for all the members of the outgoing board had been 34,329.24 euros. In addition, it added, the new board will not be paid until all the company’s staff have been given their pay, while they will also receive the back pay owed to them by the previous management.