Notary in Vatopedi deal blames ex-PM for scandal

The wife of former New Democracy minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, Katerina Peleki, who worked as a notary in the property exchange scandal involving the Vatopedi Monastery, told a prosecutor on Tuesday that ex-Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was to blame for the affair assuming such large proportions.

The previous ND government was damaged by claims that it approved the transfer of valuable state property to the monastery in exchange for real estate of a much lower value. The cost of this deal to taxpayers has never been accurately assessed.

In October 2010, Karamanlis wrote to the prosecutor probing the affair to defend his government. He argued the land swap process had been initiated by the previous PASOK government and that ND did not do anything illegal. Peleki argued that this statement came too late.

?If the ex-premier had adopted this position when the case first came to light in 2008, there would be no Vatopedi scandal today.? Peleki denies any wrongdoing in the drawing up of the contracts for the property swap.

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