House ends Siemens probe

Parliament?s involvement in probing the Siemens cash-for-contracts scandal is likely to be at an end after several PASOK deputies Thursday voted against their party?s motion to ask prosecutors to decide whether to indict two former ministers.

At least 14 Socialist MPs rejected taking further action against former Public Order Minister Christos Markoyiannakis and nine lawmakers vetoed the opportunity to pursue ex-Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis.

The outcome of the vote is a major blow to PASOK after its representatives on the parliamentary committee which investigated allegations that Siemens Hellas bribed public officials and politicians to secure state contracts suggested there was enough evidence to indict Markoyiannakis and Alogoskoufis despite the doubts raised by opposition parties.

PASOK now has two weeks in which it can resubmit the motion before the matter is considered closed. However, it is doubtful that the ruling party would run the risk of a second defeat at the hands of its own MPs, meaning that no politicians will be charged as a result of the parliamentary probe.

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