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By | John Oates 25th January 2011 11:49

Greece tells Siemens it wants damages

Bribery probe

The Greek investment minister Haris Pamboukis said yesterday he wanted damages from Siemens following a year-long investigation into bribery allegations.

The Greek government has spent 11 months looking at Siemens' track record. It estimates the German conglomerate has cost the country £1.7bn (€2bn).

The investigation found that Siemens paid bribes of millions of euros to secure various Greek contracts between the late 1990s until 2009. These included telecoms contracts and security deals connected to the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Hamboukis wrote to Siemens' Greek subsidiary: "Greece will seek compensation for the damage it has suffered from the corrupt practices that have been used by your company in the past."

The probe is expected to name other ministers who took illegal payments.

One ex-minister has already admitted taking 100,000 euros. Some politicians are likely to escape punishment because of the statute of limitations.

Siemens said it had cooperated fully with the investigation, but rejected the claim for €2bn in damages.

The investigation has been slammed by Greek media because it avoided looking at political party funding, and that without details of who received money it was unlikely Greece would win damages.

The Wall Street Journal has more on allegations that Siemens paid money directly to Greek parties here.

Siemens has previously paid damages for bribery offences in Germany. ®

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