Tsipras’s office rebuffs reports that he met with Novartis executive

Tsipras’s office rebuffs reports that he met with Novartis executive

Officials close to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have rebuffed media reports suggesting that he met with a senior representative of the Swiss drugs firm Novartis, which is embroiled in allegations of paying bribes to Greek politicians.

Konstantinos Frouzis, who served as vice president of Novartis Greece, has been implicated in a report compiled by prosecutors that alleges the firm paid bribes to Greek doctors and politicians.

Tsipras did not meet Frouzis either as prime minister or as opposition leader, sources said. 

Meanwhile, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos has called on Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras to disclose prior business dealings with the Swiss firm even after the central bank chief issued a statement earlier this week clarifying that there had been no untoward relations.

"As they failed to find anything illegal, they are now accusing me over what is legal," Stournarss wrote. "My work in the private sector for many years, before I become [finance] minister, is transparent, however obvious the efforts of the slanderer who resorted to mud-slinging once again in order to bail out his assignor."

Tzanakopoulos on Thursday called on Stournaras to determine whether "there were other contracts that he signed with the firm and whether he had preferential relations with management executives."

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