by Dr. Kristina Daroussis
The fight against fraud and the protection of the Community's financial interests have become much more important over the last decade. The reason for this is that, as the financial volume of the European Union has increased, so has the damage to Community finances. As part of the creation of appropriate anti-fraud measures, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was set up in 1999 with the task of detecting irregularities affecting the budget of the European Communities. In order to fulfil this task, regulations were created which allow OLAF inspectors to carry out on-the-spot checks on economic operators in the individual Member States. To a certain extent, these regulations under European law refer to the respective national regulations. The powers of the inspectors and the procedural rules to be applied thus result from an overall view of the Community law and the relevant national regulations. The main focus of the present study is to show, on the basis of all relevant national and Community law regulations, what concrete powers the OLAF inspectors have in the course of an inspection in Greece and what restrictions they are subject to.