Siemens Greek bribery scandal

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The Siemens bribery scandal in Greece was a corrupt and bribery scandal that hit Greece over deals between Siemens AG and Greek government officials during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece[1] regarding security systems[2] and purchases by OTE in the 1990s.[3]

Although there is no conclusive evidence, the scandal has created a serious change in the attitudes of the Greek public, most notably a dissatisfaction with both main political parties in Greece, New Democracy and Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and creating a "hole of authority" leading to a vicious circle of political instability, only if the Greek people don't reach a new consensus over which major political parties best represent their ideals.

It has been claimed that the political outcome of the case may be analogous to that of Italy 15 years ago.[4]

It has been claimed that the bribes may have been up to 100 million Euro.[5] These bribes were allegedly given in order to win state contracts.[1][6]

It is that a few PASOK members acting as individuals may have been involved, although this is simply a claim and nothing has been proved or at least any evidence come to light.[7]

A Greek prosecutor, after two years of investigations, filed charges on 1 July 2008 for money laundering and bribery.[8]

It has been claimed that it is certain Siemens divisions that were involved in the transactions.[9]

Tasos Mantelis who was Minister for Transport and Communications during the PASOK administration in 1998 admitted in May 2010 to a parliamentary investigation committee that the sum of 200,000 German marks was deposited in 1998 in a Swiss bank account from Siemens during his administration, allegedly for funding his election campaign. A further deposit of 250,000 German marks was made into the same bank account in 2000 which Mantelis claims is from an unknown source.[10]

As of August 2012, the Greek government has signed a settlement with Siemens worth 330 million euros.[11]

The trial of the persons accused of involvement in the scandal is expected to begin on February 24, 2017. A total of 64 individuals are accused, both Greek and German nationals[12]. The central figure of the scandal however, ex-Siemens chief executive in Greece Michael Christoforakos, against whom European arrest warrants are pending[13][14] will likely be absent, as Germany refuses his extradition to this day. Initially arrested in Germany in 2009, the accusations against him by German courts have been dropped, and he since lives free in this country [15][16]. Greece has been demanding his extradition since 2009, and considers him a fugitive from justice.

See also[edit]

  • Siemens scandal, refers to the 1914 scandal in Japan that involved "... collision between several high-ranking members of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the British company Vickers and the German industrial conglomerate of Siemens AG."