Siemens escapes unpunished

Munich-based electronics giant Siemens has agreed to pay fines to settle longstanding corruption charges in all the markets in which it did business, with one exception – Greece. This is notwithstanding the confession from company officials that its Greek subsidiary gave kickbacks to state officials in order to sway government procurement decisions in their favor. Siemens said it would pay 1.2 billion euros in fines to US and German authorities, an agreement that should cause concern here. Greece never made any claims to the 100 million euros that the company paid in the kickbacks that eventually came out of taxpayers’ pockets. It did not even order the detainment of those who confessed to the practice. The conservative government must immediately claim compensation for the damage done to the Greek public sector. The administration must also demand that the firm makes public the names of the politicians who received the money. Failure to comply should bar Siemens from future state contracts.

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