NEWS

Tsipras aide denies illegality in public works deal

tsipras-aide-denies-illegality-in-public-works-deal

One of SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’s closest advisers, ex-state minister Alekos Flambouraris, on Tuesday denied any wrongdoing in the wake of a report that a construction company he was involved in was awarded a 3.9-million-euro public contract just a few months ago.

The report in Proto Thema newspaper alleged that the firm, Diatimisi, inked a deal with the Peloponnese Regional Authority in May, when Flambouraris was still a cabinet member, for a construction project.

Flambouraris denied that there was any conflict of interest. He pointed out that the firm won the contract in November 2014, before SYRIZA came to power in January this year.

The ex-minister also claimed that he ended his involvement in the company before joining the government. He said that he handed back his engineer’s license and submitted his papers for retirement.

However, it is not clear if Flambouraris also sold the 50 percent stake he had in the company to stay in line with rules that prevent ministers from having involvement in businesses while they are in office.

“My former company won a tender that took place more than one-and-a-half years ago to get the contract,” he said.

“Any Greek can own shares in any company. Even a minister is not barred from having shares in companies.”

The Peloponnese Regional Authority issued a statement insisting that the rules for the tender had been followed closely and that there was nothing questionable about the deal.

However, in separate TV interviews last night New Democracy’s Evangelos Meimarakis and Potami’s Stavros Theodorakis called on the former minister to give a more detailed explanation.