Independent Greeks claim bribe attempt
Lawmaker tells prosecutor man with alleged ND links offered her up to 3 mln
Independent Greeks MP Stavroula Xoulidou told a Supreme Court prosecutor yesterday that someone claiming to be a New Democracy member approached her via Facebook and offered her up to 3 million euros to vote for the government’s choice of presidential candidate.
Xoulidou claimed that a man called Giorgos Soukouris approached her in March for the first time and that in September he started suggesting that New Democracy would be willing to pay for her vote. He also made reference to fellow Independent Greeks MP Panayiotis Melas, suggesting that he had been bribed. Melas recently refused to back the party line, which is to oppose any presidential candidate put forward by the government.
Xoulidou said that she did not go to authorities straight away as she feared that they would notify the government and that the matter would be covered up. The MP allegedly made two attempts to lure Soukouris to her office to secretly record him but he insisted on meeting in public. Soukouris allegedly claimed to be close to New Democracy’s parliamentary spokesman Adonis Georgiadis and Deputy De- velopment Minister Notis Mitarakis.
New Democracy denies that Soukouris is a member of the party, while Georgiadis and Mitarakis said that they do not know him. Both said they might take legal action.
Melas also appeared before the prosecutor to deny the claims that he had been bribed. He told journalists afterward that the allegations were “disgusting and dirty.”
A Red Cross worker carries a child from the Baris cargo ship, anchored just off the coast of Ierapetra, Crete, yesterday. All of the 591 unregistered migrants (including 150 women and 80 children) from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq had been shuttled to the port by afternoon after a medical check, authorities said. Police arrested 21 people, including two suspected people smugglers. The passengers are being temporarily housed at a local basketball stadium. The Kiribatiflagged freighter was towed to Ierapetra after suffering engine failure in international waters on Tuesday.