ATHENS – SYRIZA-ANEL’s proposal for the formation of a special preliminary committee to examine the Novartis bribery case was submitted to Parliament on Monday.
The committee will investigate whether two former prime ministers and eight former ministers were involved in the case.
Speaking in Parliament, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the government will not relinquish the right to reimbursement for damage caused to the state by Novartis, as the coalition government of former premier Antonis Samaras and vice president Evangelos Venizelos had done in the case of the Siemens kickback case. “According to preliminary estimates, the Greek state lost 23 billion euros because of the overpricing of drugs from 2000 to 2010,” Tsipras said.
The premier attacked main opposition New Democracy’s (ND) stance and its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for “moving in the gray zone between legality and illegality to achieve through violence what they cannot achieve through democratic means.” The present ND bears no relation to the popular rightist party its founder envisioned, he said, accusing Mitsotakis of becoming a “hostage to a ruthless extreme right faction” in his party.
In terms of exiting the adjustment programme, the premier said Greece “will exit the (loan) memoranda without the need of a credit line, and without unbearable conditions for the Greek people and the Greek economy.”