Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras defended the 2012 out-of-court settlement between the Greek government and German electronics giant Siemens on Tuesday before a parliamentary committee.
Stournaras was called before the MPs on Parliament’s transparency committee because he was finance minister at the time the agreement was made and was responsible for signing it. “Not signing it would have been illegal,” said Stournaras, who pointed out that the deal had been approved by Parliament.
At the time, Athens agreed to drop all charges against the company apart from those relating to bribery in return for Siemens writing off 80 million euros owed by the Greek state, paying 90 million euros, investing 100 million euros in its local branch, Siemens Hellas, and spending another 60 million euros to build a new factory employing up to 700 people.
Stournaras, who described the agreement as “beneficial,” said that the company has so far fulfilled all of these terms apart from the investment in a new factory. The Council of State is carrying out a separate probe into the settlement.