NEWS

Greek opposition calls for explanations into Petsitis affair

IOANNA MANDROU, ARISTOTELIA PELONI

TAGS: Politics, Corruption, Justice

Greece’s conservative opposition Monday requested that the head of the country’s anti-money laundering authority, Anna Zairi, appear before the Parliament’s Institutions and Transparency Committee to respond to questions about the alleged scandal involving government aide Manolis Petsitis, as well as the reported dismissal of a senior official investigating the case.

On Sunday, New Democracy suggested that officials close to Maximos Mansion are implicated in a major financial scandal following newspaper reports that authorities investigating Petsitis’s bank accounts in Greece and Cyprus had traced money whose origin could not be identified. According to those reports, the money came from Artemis Artemiou, a Cypriot lawyer specializing in offshore companies. Petsitis and Artemiou, both of whom are said to be close to Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas, are alleged to have had business dealings with disgraced businessman Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, who is facing fresh fraud charges over his company Greek Fertilizers and Chemicals (ELFE).

“ND demands that Ms Zairi testify everything she knows on the scandals surrounding the Petsitis-Lavrentiadis-Artemiou triangle,” the party said in a statement.

Addressing a rally in Veria, northern Greece, on Sunday, ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis mocked the leftist government for claiming the “moral high ground.” “The dark paths of entanglement will be exposed and the last fig leaf will fall off,” he said. Government spokesman Dimitris Tzannakopoulos shrugged off the allegations as fake news disseminated by pro-opposition media.

The anti-money-laundering authority Monday did not deny press reports regarding its probe into Petsitis’s accounts, adding however that releasing information on the case would undermine the progress of investigation. 

Sources told Kathimerini that Cyprus authorities had informally briefed their Greek counterparts on the content of the accounts.

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