Haikalis hits back at graft allegations

Haikalis hits back at graft allegations

One day after he admitted to having established an offshore company, former alternate labor minister Pavlos Haikalis Friday tried to fight off claims of corruption, saying that he was neither a shareholder nor the owner of the Cyprus-based firm.

“I do not control any shares, my name is nowhere to be seen,” Haikalis, an MP with the outgoing junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL), said during a press briefing yesterday.

He attacked recent media reports for “seeking to undermine me, ANEL and the outgoing government.”

The firm, Metrofin, appears to be run by the Nicosia-based Pamboridis & Associates consulting firm.

Haikalis claimed to have signed a deal with Metrofin in 2008 to protect his intellectual property on the island. The contract, the former minister said, came to an end in 2011 and although he was supposed to earn revenues from the agreement, Haikalis claimed he was never actually paid.

Haikalis, a former actor, made a similar claim in February last year after the financial crimes squad (SDOE) found he had failed to declare 55,000 euros’ worth of income in 2007.

In December, Haikalis claimed that there had been an attempt to bribe him to vote in favor of the coalition’s candidate in the first round of presidential elections. A probe found the claims to be groundless.

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