Defense Minister Panos Kammenos reiterated on Wednesday his vehement denial of allegations made last month by former Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who claimed that Kammenos told a cabinet meeting the government was being financed by US-Hungarian billionaire George Soros.
In response to a question in Parliament by New Democracy MP Yiannis Kefaloyiannis, Kammenos said that the claim by Kotzias on Kriti TV was taken up by the former ruling establishment – linked to ND and PASOK – in order to distract the public’s attention from the recent jailing of former socialist minister Yiannos Papantoniou on corruption charges.
“Since these (allegations) have come under the scrutiny of Parliament I want to repeat and stress that I never said the government has received money from George Soros,” Kammenos said.
He added that he only referred to the financier in connection with a company that the Foreign Ministry does business with and “which has nothing to do with the government.”
“I refer you to the statements made by those at the cabinet meeting and I remind you that minutes are taken at all cabinet meetings,” he said.
In his response, Kefaloyiannis mocked Kammenos for presenting Kotzias as a liar and then “informing us that the Foreign Ministry does not belong to the government.”
Kotzias told Kriti TV that, during his closing remarks at the cabinet meeting in October, Tsipras was interrupted by Kammenos who “unleashed a sewer of slander.”
“He did not just talk about secret funds. He said that Soros is financing the Greek government to bribe foreigners,” he said.