Amendment writes off multi-million-euro fine imposed on tobacco firm SEKAP


The government on Friday submitted an amendment in Parliament writing off a 44-million-euro fine the state had imposed on tobacco company SEKAP over smuggling infractions.

SYRIZA had voted a similar amendment in 2017, but an appeals court in northern Greece upheld the fine in 2017, noting that it did not have a retroactive application.

Previously state-owned SEKAP was purchased by Russian-Greek investor Ivan Savvidis in 2014 and was sold again to Japan Tobacco in March 2018. The fines were imposed before Savvidis purchased the firm.

The new legislation states that the owner of SEKAP is not responsible for paying if the company had not been aware of the fine when it changed hands, and spares it of any new ones imposed after the sale. The amendment also protects the company against any negative rulings from pending litigation.