Corruption in Greece (I)

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – The Greek government does not exclude the eventuality of indictments of German companies on charges of corruption, according to recent reports, on a contingency plan Athens has prepared for the event that Berlin forces it into state bankruptcy (“Grexit”). According to this plan, Athens would try to bring German companies to court – who have not or have only partially been subject of bribery investigations – to have them pay at least part of the restitution for damages caused by the alleged corruption, officially estimated in the billions. Siemens is the most famous example. A Greek parliamentary investigating committee estimated that, through systematic bribery, this Munich-based company has caused damages of two billion Euros in Greece. However, Siemens got off cheap in an out-of-court settlement and had to pay only 270 million Euros – hardly one fifth of its current quarterly profit. A court in Munich gave a Siemens manager a suspended sentence – significantly less than what he could have expected from a trial in Athens. Already in the fall of 2014, new legal proceedings had been opened in Athens to comprehensively investigate this systematic corruption.

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