Gov’t preparing to impose 220-million-euro penalty

The Greek government is preparing to fine Siemens Hellas 220 million euros for allegedly bribing public officials and politicians to secure state contracts, sources told Kathimerini Friday.

Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou is set to approve the fine, which relates to 110 contracts that were signed between Greece and Siemens from 1997 to 2007.

A 2-million-euro penalty will be applied to each fine.

Siemens has already launched an appeal against the fine, arguing that in some cases the penalties will be larger than the actual value of the contracts agreed.

Sources have told Kathimerini that even if Greece wins a possible legal battle with Siemens, it could encounter problems collecting the fines as the Greek branch of the German electronics giant sold its last remaining asset, an office block in northern Athens, last year.