Pappas scorns criticism over 2013 Venezuela visit


Minister of State Nikos Pappas on Monday dismissed criticism concerning a 2013 trip he made to Venezuela with a Cypriot lawyer specializing in offshore companies, saying that opposition New Democracy will not free itself of responsibility for the decades of corruption that have plagued Greece with “silly” assertions.

Pappas told Real FM radio the purpose of the trip was to discuss a possible visit by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to the South American country and “to examine the possibility of purchasing products from state-run supermarkets.”

In a statement, the ministry said the insinuation that his visit to Venezuela in the company of the Cypriot lawyer was suspect, is so “ridiculous that it does not merit discussion.”

However, ND accused the government and Pappas of ducking the question about his relationship with the lawyer, Artemis Artemiou, who was implicated in the Panama Papers (leaked documents that detail financial and attorney-client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities).

“[Pappas] must tell the Greek people the whole truth about his relationship with the lawyer,” the conservatives said in a statement.