MPs to investigate Vatopedi and Siemens scandals
Parliamentary committees of inquiry have been established by the Greek parliament to investigate the Vatopedi Monastey land exchanges and into the Siemens scandals.
The Parliament voted unanimously for the establishment of both committees of inquiry and all parties agreed that representation on the committees will be in proportion to the number of seats they hold in the Parliament.
One of the Parliamentary Committees will investigate anew a controversial land swap exchange between the Mt. Athos Monastery of Vatopedi and the state, in the case referring to areas surrounding Lake Vistonida.
Critics have attacked the land exchange because they say that, the state exchanged prime real estate holdings throughout Greece, including buildings in the Athens Olympic Village, for remote tracts of land where development is either restricted or prohibited, such as forestland, legally protected areas around Lake Vistonida and archaeological sites.
The other Parliamentary Committee will investigate whether politicians were involved in allegedly corrupt deals between the Greek state and German industrial giant Siemens AG and whether political parties received cash from Siemens slush funds.
Greek judicial authorities are currently probing claims that Siemens paid bribes to secure telecoms and security contracts before the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Twenty people have been charged with bribery and money laundering so far, including several former executives at Siemens’ Greek branch and a former Socialist lawmaker. All deny wrongdoing.
The committees of inquiry will be set up today and it is expected that they will complete their inquiries by March 15.
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