The completion of the preliminary phase of the parliamentary inquiry into former government minister, Aristotelis Pavlidis, and the allegations of corruptions against him has left the Karamanlis Government on tenterhooks.

The preliminary investigation into the allegations has left the parliamentary future of Pavlidis hanging in the balance.

Former minister Aristotelis Pavlidis spent more than six hours answering questions by parliamentary members of the inquiry.

Pavlidis insisted that claims by shipowner Fotis Manousis that he had to pay bribes to win state-subsidized contracts for routes to remote islands were unfounded.

“On all matters of direct relevance to the case, my answers were full, which is backed up by the documents I presented,” the ex-minister told journalists. “Manousis’s allegations are false, inaccurate and slanderous.”

Pavlidis was also questioned about an apartment purchased by his daughter.

During the investigation into whether Pavlidis accepted bribes to award state-subsidized contracts, it has been alleged that the property was paid for from the bribes paid by SAOS ferry company owner Fotis Manousis.

Pavlidis admitted that the apartment he bought for his daughter did not cost 156 000 euros as he had stated initially as this was the rateable value of the estate, but 235 000 euros and stressed that he had no intention to mislead anyone and has no objection to the opening of his as well as his daughter’s bank account.

He added that he had provided 80 000 euros for the purchase of the apartment and that his brother gave his daughter an additional 20 000 for renovations.

When questioned about his former adviser Panayiotis Zachariou, Pavlidis said that he did not accept his resignation despite the fact that he wanted to.

He rejected Zachariou’s resignation because he feared that it would appear that he was confirming the allegations made by Manousis.

Pavlidis went on to brand Manousis as being unreliable.

The parlimanetary inquiry also questioned Anastassios Pavlidis, the brother of the former Minister, as well as his daughter, Angeliki Pavlidis.

PASOK suggested last week that its representatives believe the 13-member committee has heard enough evidence to suggest that Pavlidis should have his immunity from prosecution lifted and be investigated further.

Such a scenario would cause the Karamanlis government problems due to its slim one-seat majority in Parliament.

The government is unlikely to want to rely on the vote of Pavlidis if he is associated with corrupt practices and, should Pavlidis refuse to resign, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis could be forced to call early elections.

The committee of inquiry will continue hearings next Wednesday so that members can complete their final reports for submission to the Greek Parliament on April 27.

Another shipowner, Giorgos Spanos, as well as from the Mayor of the Aegean island of Tilos, Tassos Aliferis, last week made separate corruption allegations against Pavlidis. These charges will be heard at a later date.