NEWS

New Pavlidis data force delay

The crucial vote on whether any further action will be taken against former Aegean Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis was yesterday moved to next Monday, after MPs received detailed analysis of the Dodecanese deputy’s bank accounts. The late arrival of the data from Bank of Greece experts means that the 13-man parliamentary committee will not be ready to deliver its report until tomorrow, making it impossible for Parliament’s plenary session to vote today on whether to lift Pavlidis’s immunity, as had been planned. PASOK drew attention to the fact that over a six-year period, between 2002 and 2008, businessman Klearchos Routsis paid a total of 325,000 euros into the account of Pavlidis’s brother Anastassios. The payments have raised questions for two reasons: Firstly because the Bank of Greece experts indicate that Pavlidis paid 335,000 euros rather than the 235,000 he claimed to purchase an apartment for his daughter in 2005. Secondly, all the deposits in his brother’s account were exactly 15,000 euros or less. This has caused suspicion because deposits of more than 15,000 require the depositor to comply with money-laundering rules. The financial experts have also recommended that an Alpha Bank account belonging to Anastassios Pavlidis, in which 1 million euros was deposited between 2006 and March this year, be investigated further. The members of the parliamentary committee agreed that Anastassios Pavlidis, a South Africa-based businessman, should appear before them today to answer questions about the accounts. Aristotelis Pavlidis insists his brother made a gift of the money his daughter used to buy the apartment and that those funds had nothing to do with allegations by shipowner Fotis Manousis that he bribed the ex-minister to win state-subsidized ferry contracts to remote islands.