Greece plans to exclude German companies Siemens and Rheinmetall as well as Franco-German helicopter manufacturer Airbus Helicopters (former Eurocopter) from public procurements. Furthermore, the new Greek government intends to bring the issue of the practices of these three companies to the agenda of the European Parliament.
Speaking to defense news website Onalert.gr, Alternate Defense Minister Kostas Ysichos (SYRIZA) said that these three companies have to be excluded from procurements due to illegal practices, “the proven fraudulent transactions they have done in order to secure public procurements.”
“The Rheinmetall has been already sentenced in Germany for bribes,” Ysichos said adding that the Greek authorities are also investigate the issue.
In December 2014, German courts fined Rheinmetall with €37million for “bribes aiming to secure public contracts in Greece.” (Der Spiegel).
NH90 helicopters contract under investigation
Kostas Ysichos revealed that the Defense Ministry investigates the purchase of 20 NH 90 military helicopter ordered from NHIndustries, a company owned by Airbus Helicopters, AgustaWestland and Fokker Aerostructures.
In August 2003, Greece ordered 20 NH90s with an option for 14 more. By April 2014, eight NH90 TTH aircraft had been delivered. The ninth and tenth were delivered by November 2014.
Ysichos said that despite the fact Greece had a downpayment of €263million, (42% of the total amount), “the first two helicopters were delivered in 2011, eight years after the order and the down payment.”
The ongoing investigation refers mainly to possible ‘scandals’ and transparency.
“We investigate the issue and especially the clauses of the contract. They have clauses that protect the manufacturer and not the purchaser. How comes?,” Alternate Defense Minister Ysichos stressed adding the investigation findings are expected to be submitted to the Greek parliament after 20 days.
NHIndustries seems to be notorious in delivery delays and Kostas Ysichos referred to the case of Norway, that “had claimed money back. We will try this as well.”
In 2012, Norways‘ Deputy Defence Minister Roger Ingebrigtsen announced that ” If the NH90 hasn’t been delivered, we will purchase another helicopter…considering that the aircraft were to be delivered by 2005, and that delivery is yet to start by 2012, our confidence in the producer isn’t exactly on the rise.
Ysichos revealed that the NHIndustries is offering to grant to Greece “€20million in outstanding payments for follow up etc.”
“They tell us, OK, forget the 20 millions if you stop… No, thanks we do not want such gifts,” Ysichos said.
Video: Ysichos’ interview excerpt about NH90 in Greek
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Greek media wrote that Greece achieved an agreement with the NH90 manufacturer in 2010 concerning the delivery schedule but also a very significant price discount for the hitherto delays and other breakdowns and that ever since, the delivery schedule flow without delays.
We will certainly have to wait for the outcome of the NH90 investigation.
But interdependently of the outcome in this specific case investigation, Greece’s military purchases of the past have be often accompanied by kickbacks and bribes worth several million euro. Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatsopoulos (1996-2001) has been locked up in prison because of them.
Fact is that the new Greek government of leftist and nationalists have often expresses their intention to go deep into suspicious cases that may have harmed the public interest.
Kostas Ysichos‘ full interview is here: 44 minutes in Greek.
yes, we’ll be waiting for them to ‘go deep’!
don’t hold your breath..
I’m still waiting for the prosecution of French, US and UK companies. Oh, and of the Greek officials who demanded the bribes in the first place!
Rather than complaining about this, you should instead be insisting that your own government does the very same thing. In fact, it should be insisted upon that this becomes the norm in the EU. Any company, EU based or not, caught attempting to bribe or having bribes any government (EU or not) should automatically be excluded from any tender anywhere in the EU. As for your complaint regarding prosecution
And while we are at this, care to tell us why the German government refuses to execute an international arrest warrant for Siemens Hellas former CEO Michalis Christoforakos, currently residing in Germany and wanted in Greece on charges of bribery and corruption…
You’re not really informed, Ephi. There are court trials of managers who engaged in corruption. And Christoforakus got a sentence to nine months in prison, to be put on probation, and a fine of 350000 Euro. He successfully fought the international arrest warrant, though, because the Greek prosecutors had not sufficiently presented the reasons for the accusation. You could have found that info easily by googleing.
The German authorities have refused to execute the warrant based on statutory limits. German ones… The guy is wanted for crimes in Greece not Germany. He most likely knows too much about the “right people” for the German authorities to extradite him. It could be dangerous if he opens his mouth.
Meanwhile, why are you complaining about corrupt businesses being punished as they should. Siemens bought themselves out of jail in the USA for 1.6 billion USD. That is pocket money for these guys, especially compared to the proifts they made from their corrupt attitude. That is what you appear to condone, or is it ok for those who can afford it to buy their way out of jail and walk away with the loot?Punishment is only for the little guy maybe?