Gov't calls for explanations by Siemens

Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis on Wednesday announced that the Greek state will impose fines on German multinational Siemens before the end of May for violation of laws against money laundering.

Kastanidis made the announcement while addressing Parliament on the amended ministerial liability law, while he clarified that on Monday he will send a letter to Siemens' management, demanding explanations within the next 15 days.

“The German side has an obligation to compensate the Greek side regardless of the court ruling that will be issued in the Siemens bribery case. The usually judgmental Germans will stand accused, because their own companies are champions of corruption worldwide,” Kastanidis said.

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) Parliamentary spokesman Prokopis Pavlopoulos also lashed out at German justice, underlining that the Greek justice system should not take the entire blame for procrastination when, essentially, it was the German justice system that covered up the cases in question.

Opposition Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S) president George Karatzaferis characterised the draft law under discussion as “declaration of remorse delayed by 10 years”. He also accused the two major political parties of being responsible for the fact that “nobody was sent to jail and nobody will be”. He also stated that former defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos should not be the only one to appear before a parliamentary preliminary examination committee.

In response, the ND parliamentary spokesman stated that the payments made by ND ministers were in accordance with contracts signed under the Simitis government.

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