NEWS

German parliamentary committee’s report and cases of amnesia

The German parliamentary committee’s report relates Kokkalis’s dealings with Stasi agents, business deals by Rocco (Kokkalis’s code name), also called Krokus, and nebulous conclusions regarding the origin of capital he used to set up businesses since 1967. Much of the information in the report indicates that the German interparty committee had been under political pressure not to make claims for the German state against Kokkalis-owned companies. According to the meeting’s minutes, committee member Friedhelm Julius Beucher accused Chairman W. Neumann of obstructing the committee’s work. Beucher stated before the committee that there had been a high-level agreement between Bonn and Athens. In the fall of 1992, the then Greek prime minister, Constantine Mitsotakis, in a conversation with Helmut Kohl, Germany’s chancellor at the time, requested that the German authorities not cause irreparable damage to Kokkalis’s interests. In exchange, Mitsotakis allegedly offered to hand over Stasi agent Helmut Voigt. In 1992, relations between Mitsotakis and Kokkalis were good; the tycoon was virtually handed the profitable contract for the scratch lottery (Xysto) on terms that put the State’s interest at a disadvantage. Of course, the German committee cannot confirm that a deal – which Mitsotakis, now ND honorary president, firmly denies – was actually made. However, the following points should be kept in mind: Several crucial documents on Rocco and his dealings with the East German authorities have not been found and the committee has not been able to declassify many other key documents. Witnesses called to testify appear to be suffering from amnesia; hardly anyone remembers anything about Kokkalis. The committee notes that even after the fall of the East German regime in 1989, Kokkalis received up to 100 million Deutschmarks from the still existing state (DDR) which did not originate in commercial transactions. Inflated invoices for DDR goods which Kokkalis sold to the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) and Public Power Corporation (PPC), among others, created a well-oiled machine that started with amounts for «influencing the market» (greasing the palms of state officials) and perhaps extended to bribing political parties or politicians. Between 1986 and 1991, $11 million and 1.7 million Deutschmarks were channeled to Switzerland and elsewhere through Kokkalis’s accounts in the Deutche Handelsbank. Between 1986 and 1991, $11 million and 1.7 million Deutschmarks were channeled to Switzerland and elsewhere through Kokkalis’s accounts in the Deutche Handelsbank.