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Politics: PM calls for further action against Siemens

Δημοσίευση 26 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 12:13 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Politics: PM calls for further action against Siemens
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Prime Minister George Papandreou instructed his ministers to take further action against the German-based multinational Siemens, during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Prime Minister George Papandreou instructed his ministers to take further action against the German-based multinational Siemens, during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Papandreou asked Minister of Justice Haris Kastanidis, Regional Development Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and Minister of State Haris Pamboukis to take actions needed in order to impose fines on Siemens and sue for compensation for the multinational's actions that harmed the state's interests.

The move comes after a Parliamentary Examining Committee submitted its report on an investigation into a kickbacks scandal involving several Siemens contracts, for which MPs recommended that 14 former ministers be further investigated for criminal liability.

In addition to seeking compensation, Papandreou also asked that any tenders awarded to the company be first carefully re-examined before they are ratified and that the two sides sign an 'integrity agreement'.

The prime minister also urged faster completion of the judicial process, if possible, in order to clear up the case.

In statements afterward, Pamboukis said that Siemens' action in the past amounted to an organised bribery operation.

"The Siemens scandal is a scandal that in reality is international. One of its aspects, of course, concerns Greece and the findings of the committee do confirm what was the prevailing feeling that this was an organised bribery operation that in reality acted by corrupting competition and the rules of transparency, above and beyond any criminal aspects that obviously exist and are being investigated," he told the radio station Vima FM.

Pamboukis said that the government had sent a letter asking the current management of Siemens to help shed light on the actions of its predecessors and uncover those responsible.

He also stressed that the investigation had to go ahead and be specific, regardless of whether some of the offences were statute-barred for the politicians involved.

Siemens scandal report submitted to parliament plenary

The report of the parliamentary fact-finding commission's probe into the Siemens kickbacks scandal was tabled in the Parliament plenum late Monday night, with the varying conclusions reached by the political parties triggering heated reactions. Although all sides agreed that a parliamentary preliminary investigation committee should further investigate the issue, the parties did disagree, however, on the specific former ministers that should be further probed.

A motion is expected to be tabled, with 60 signatures of MPs, calling for debate of the report in the parliament plenary, after which a motion is slated to be tabled, with 30 signatures and most probably by the ruling PASOK party, proposing the establishment of the preliminary examination committee.

PASOK former prime minister Costas Simitis and 14 more former ministers from ruling PASOK and main opposition ND have been proposed for referral to the parliamentary preliminary investigation committee.