Government dodges Siemens vote

A bill to rubber-stamp an out-of-court settlement between the government and the Greek branch of Siemens, which has been accused of paying bribes to secure public contracts in the past, was withdrawn from Parliament Thursday amid concern that the coalition would suffer a significant amount of defections.

Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced that he was withdrawing the legislation and argued that it was not needed anymore since the electronics giant had officially accepted the terms of the deal. He also accused opponents of the settlement of ?demagoguery.? SYRIZA had used parliamentary rules to ensure that the vote on the bill would not be a secret ballot, prompting fears that the coalition would be put under strain due to visible defections.

The 330-million-euro deal between Greece and Siemens will see the firm invest 100 million euros in its Greek branch and construct a new factory employing 700 people.

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