Haikalis hits back at graft al­le­ga­tions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

One day af­ter he ad­mit­ted to hav­ing es­tab­lished an off­shore com­pany, for­mer al­ter­nate la­bor min­is­ter Pav­los Haikalis yesterday tried to fight off claims of cor­rup­tion, say­ing that he was nei­ther a share­holder nor the owner of the Cyprus-based firm.

“I do not con­trol any shares, my name is nowhere to be seen,” Haikalis, an MP with the out­go­ing ju­nior coali­tion part­ner In­de­pen­dent Greeks (ANEL), said dur­ing a press brief­ing yesterday.

He at­tacked re­cent media re­ports for “seek­ing to un­der­mine me, ANEL and the out­go­ing gov­ern­ment.”

The firm, Metrofin, ap­pears to be run by the Nicosia-based Pam­boridis & As­so­ci­ates con­sult­ing firm.

Haikalis claimed to have signed a deal with Metrofin in 2008 to pro­tect his in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty on the is­land. The con­tract, the for­mer min­is­ter said, came to an end in 2011 and although he was sup­posed to earn rev­enues from the agree­ment, Haikalis claimed he was never ac­tu­ally paid.

Haikalis, a for­mer ac­tor, made a sim­i­lar claim in Fe­bru­ary last year af­ter the fi­nan­cial crimes squad (SDOE) found he had failed to de­clare 55,000 eu­ros’ worth of in­come in 2007.

In De­cem­ber, Haikalis claimed that there had been an at­tempt to bribe him to vote in fa­vor of the coali­tion’s can­di­date in the first round of pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. A probe found the claims to be ground­less.

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