Greek PM calls for parliamentary inquiry into Novartis bribery claims


Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for the formation of a parliamentary committee to probe claims by prosecutors that Greek politicians took bribes from the Swiss drugs manufacturer Novartis.

“Without hesitation, we will do whatever is foreseen institutionally to investigate possible criminal responsibilities,” Tsipras told party MPs on Monday. He said the allegations were indicative of the “moral decadence” that helped stoke Greece’s financial crisis.

Under Greek law, allegations concerning politicians must be reviewed by Parliament before lawmakers can authorize prosecutions.

Meanwhile in a statement on Monday, the Basel-based company vowed to take “fast and decisive action” should the investigation find that its managers engaged in unethical or illegal conduct.

It added that publicity surrounding the case, at least so far, “appears driven in large part by the selective leaking of portions of a confidential and preliminary investigative file.”