New urgency on Siemens investigation

The investigation into claims that Siemens paid millions of euros in bribes to Greek politicians from the country’s two main parties via its subsidiary in Athens may be set to intensify after the government yesterday asked the Supreme Court to intervene and speed up the process. Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis wrote to Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas to ask him to apply the «utmost urgency» to the probe. However, the usefulness of the intervention is questionable, as prosecutor Panayiotis Athanassiou, who heads the probe, is set to conclude his work by the end of the month anyway. The move from Hatzigakis came as New Democracy MP Kyriakos Mitsotakis submitted more than 100 invoices to Athanassiou in relation to some 140,000 euros’ worth of Siemens equipment that he purchased last year. It emerged last week that Mitsotakis had bought the electrical goods for his office on credit and only paid the final of three installments three days after Athanassiou visited Siemens’s offices in Athens. The invoices are from two companies and the prosecutor is likely to check whether they issued the deputy with any credit notes. Mitsotakis denies any wrongdoing.