The Greek Parliament on Thursday did not approve the formation of an advisory council of public prosecutors to examine the evidence against former New Democracy ministers George Alogoskoufis and Christos Markoyiannakis in connection with the Siemens scandal, to see whether it warranted their indictment to stand trial.
The vote was on a motion tabled by 108 ruling PASOK MPs to set up an advisory council of three prosecutors to examine the evidence for the criminal charges of breach of faith against the two ministers but the motion failed to collect the required majority of 151 votes.
Main opposition New Democracy and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party abstained from the vote entirely, while the smaller opposition parties said that they had all cast blank votes. In the final tally of 178 votes cast, only 141 voted in favour of the motion for Alogoskoufis and 136 in favour of the motion for Markoyiannakis.
Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou stressed after the result was announced that the case was not closed because the Supreme Court was continuing to investigate. Concerning Siemens' announcement that it intends to counter-sue the Greek gover-nment in order to avoid paying compensation, Papaioannou noted that Alternate Development Minister Haris Pamboukis had recently wrapped up talks with Siemens and that the government will soon announce the measures it will take against Siemens Hellas and its German-based parent company.
ND on Siemens case Parliamentary vote
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on Thursday expressed satisfaction for Parliament’s decision that former ND government ministers George Alogoskoufis and Christos Marko-yiannakis should not face charges related to the Siemens case.
ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis said “the political dege-neration of the Siemens bribery scandal attempted by the gover-nment was rejected by the ruling PASOK MPs,” adding that “the Siemens scandal has been painted green (after the color of PASOK party emblem) with the ruling party MPs’ stamp of approval.”
ND MP Evangelos Antonaros, who served as government spokesman under former PM Costas Karamanlis, underlined that “the efforts by PASOK’s leading team to turn the ‘green’ Siemens scandal into unfounded accusations targeting two ministers of the Karamanlis government has failed miserably and boomeranged.”