Siemens offers help to inquiry

German electronics and engineering giant Siemens has told the Greek government that it will do whatever it can to make three of its former executives give evidence about the cash-for-contracts scandal but said that the firm itself is not in a position to supply any more information. State Minister Haris Paboukis had recently written to Siemens asking for the company’s cooperation and in a reply made public yesterday, the firm said that it would «use any legal means necessary» to force the former CEO of its Greek branch, Michalis Christoforakos, as well as Munich-based former executives Reinhard Siekaczek and Michael Kutschenreuter to meet with members of the parliamentary committee investigating allegations that the company bribed public officials and politicians to secure contracts. MPs taking part in the parliamentary inquiry had been due to fly to Germany last week to begin speaking to the three men, who are considered three of the main witnesses in the case. However, committee chairman and PASOK MP Sifis Valyrakis suggested yesterday that the deputies have not conducted the trip yet because they have not received reassurances from all three men that they will talk. Although the Siemens letter – written by Peter Solmssen, a member of the company’s managing board and head of legal and compliance issues – made it clear that the firm would push all three to give evidence, it also underlined that Greek authorities cannot rely on anymore information from Siemens itself. «I can assure you that as far as we know, there is no other investigative material relating to Greece which we could pass on to you,» Solmssen said in his letter, according to sources in Athens.