Greece settles Siemens score

MPs on Thursday approved legislation designed to settle Greece?s dispute with Siemens, which was accused of bribing politicians to secure state contracts, and pave the way for the engineering giant to invest in the country.

Most PASOK and New Democracy lawmakers approved the amendment, which means that the Greek government will drop all legal claims against Siemens, apart from possible criminal proceedings, in return for the compensation of Greece through a series of payments and investments.

Siemens has agreed to pay Greece 80 million euros to settle accounting differences, 90 million euros for training programs, an investment of 100 million euros in its Greek branch, Siemens Hellas, and a possible investment of 70 million euros in a new factory that would employ 700 people.

The Communist Party, Popular Orthodox Rally, Coalition of the Radical Left, Democratic Left and Democratic Alliance, Social Pact and Independent Greeks opposed the bill. One PASOK MP voted against and two abstained.