Gov’t and New Democracy clash over Novartis bribery claims

Gov’t and New Democracy clash over Novartis bribery claims

A prosecutors’ report alleging that Swiss drugs manufacturer Novartis bribed Greek government officials has fuelled a vehement row between the government and conservative New Democracy, Greece's main opposition party. 

Sources from within New Democracy on Thursday expressed concern that the government’s stance on the issue is blurring the line separating the executive branch of power from the judicial one and likened the situation to Poland, where the judicial system has recently been denounced in Europe as inefficient and sometimes corrupt.

“When there is no distinction between the branches, we do not have a just state,” the sources said.

Government sources hit back at ND, accusing it of trying to “intimidate” the justice system and state institutions.

For his part, Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras said the accusations against him are politically motivated and are aimed at “pushing me out of the Bank of Greece.”

“The efforts of certain people to implicate myself and my family in the Novartis scandal will not succeed. My career, as well as that of my wife, are completely transparent and cannot be tainted by the urges and ulterior motives of those seeking to eliminate me in every despicable way possible,” Stournaras said.

“I unequivocally state that these shaky accusations will not stand.”

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