State contracts to be reviewed by court

An amendment to the existing law on state contracts will allow ordinary citizens, as well as the government, the right to call for a judicial review of any deals signed by public officials with private companies, Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis said on Thursday.

The change to the law was prompted by the controversy over allegations that Siemens Hellas had in the past bribed politicians and civil servants to secure lucrative public contracts. Once the legislation has been tweaked, it will allow the government to call for the Court of Audit to pore over the details of all the outstanding contracts with the electronics and engineering company. When PASOK came to power, it decided to suspend the execution of all the state?s contracts with Siemens, pending further investigation. This has led to a number of projects, such as an extension of the Athens metro network, being delayed.

The amendment will allow the Greek government to review any contract if it suspects wrongdoing. The new law will also allow individuals, groups or companies affected by the contracts to request that the court review them.

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