Parliamentary speaker steps down as probe into politicians' finances continues

Parliamentary Speaker Vangelis Meimarakis on Monday asked to be temporarily replaced as the Supreme Court probes the finances of some 30 politicians and public officials, though on Sunday he denied a newspaper report suggesting that he was one of the people under investigation.

Meimarakis, a former defense minister, stepped down temporarily as House speaker after meeting with Yiannis Tentes, the Supreme Court prosecutor who will be conducting an investigation in parallel with the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) into some 30 politicians and public officials suspected of corruption.

Meimarakis said following his meeting with Tentes that the investigation «is creating a climate of destabilization at a time when the Greek Parliament is being called upon to take decisions that will define the future of the country,» adding that «I am here to to do all it takes to help the truth shine.»

On Sunday, former Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis and former Transport Minister Michalis Liapis also issued separate statements denying the report that they are under investigation.

A total of seven politicians who held ministerial positions are among the public figures that SDOE is investigating for alleged corruption, Kathimerini understands.

Sources told Kathimerini that seven of those being investigated have served in previous governments: four with PASOK and three with New Democracy.

One of the seven is still an MP for the conservative party and has served as a minister in several posts in the past. The other two politicians from New Democracy no longer have seats in Parliament.

None of the members of PASOK being investigated are serving politicians.

A parliamentary committee is due to meet on Wednesday to discuss SDOE’s investigation and whether the House should also launch its own probe.


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