MIG boss defends stance on OTE deal

Marfin Investment Group (MIG) Vice Chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos defended his recent decision to take legal action against the leaders of two of Greece’s top opposition parties, arguing «there are limits» to the comments politicians can make. «I believe that political comments have limits that are determined by the Constitution. Imagine if there were no limits and anyone could say whatever they wanted about others,» he told a parliamentary economic committee yesterday. Vgenopoulos is suing PASOK leader George Papandreou and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras over comments made concerning Vgenopoulos’s role in the OTE deal. Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom agreed to buy a substantial stake in former state monopoly OTE in a deal worth more than 3 billion euros. The government sold 3 percent of its stake in OTE to the German telecoms giant, which also took a 20 percent stake from MIG. According to Vgenopoulos, «it was just a matter of time before some investor made an aggressive takeover move and public offer on OTE« had MIG not initially purchased 20 percent in the company. «There had been no prearranged deal with the government. Talk of ‘three-way’ dealings are scenarios that belong to science fiction,» he added, referring to a question as to whether MIG had sold its OTE stake in agreement with the state.