Ger­man rail firm in bribe scan­dal

Re­port quotes group say­ing most of Greek bailout funds went to lenders, in­vestors

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A Frank­furt prose­cu­tor in­ves­ti­gat­ing graft at Ger­many’s rail­way op­er­a­tor has ac­cused a sub­sidiary of state trans­port group Deutsche Bahn of pay­ing bribes to win con­tracts in Greece.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port pub­lished yes­ter­day by Sued­deutsche Zeitung, DB In­ter­na­tional paid up to 315,000 eu­ros in kick­backs to Greek of­fi­cials over the course of a decade to se­cure con­tracts dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the Proas­ti­akos sub­ur­ban rail­way, which links Athens to its in­ter­na­tional air­port in the east and to Corinth in the south.

The prose­cu­tor is prob­ing a to­tal of 37 em­ploy­ees, while the com­pany – which has with­drawn from Greece, as well as from other coun­tries that it de­scribes as “cor­rup­tion-prone” – is also su­ing 10 for­mer staff mem­bers.

Mean­while,

Sued­deutsche Zeitung on Mon­day also quoted a re­port by an anti-glob­al­iza­tion group sug­gest­ing that loans to Greece by for­eign cred­i­tors mostly went to­ward prop­ping up banks and wealthy in­vestors.

Ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per, At­tac, an or­ga­ni­za­tion based in France, has es­ti­mated that out of the 207 bil­lion eu­ros ear­marked by for­eign cred­i­tors, 160 bil­lion has ended up with lenders and in­vestors.

“Po­lit­i­cal elites have not been try­ing to res­cue the Greek pop­u­la­tion, but the fi­nance sec­tor,” Lisa Mit­ten­drein, from the group’s Aus­trian chap­ter, was quoted by the Ger­man news­pa­per as say­ing.

“The wide­spread be­lief sup­ported by Euro­pean politi­cians that the var­i­ous res­cue pack­ages for Greece have helped or­di­nary peo­ple in the coun­try is no longer ten­able,” she said, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

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