As the crucial third evaluation of Greece’s fiscal programme draws closer, the government is attempting to shift the political agenda to corruption, vested interests, and various tax evasion cases, so as to veer the public dialogue away from the economy and citizens’ daily problems.
The appearance of the name of ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Mareva Grabowski, in the freshly released Paradise Papers, launched a battle royal today between ruling Syriza and the main opposition.
Grabowski appears as a 50 percent shareholder in a Cayman Islands offshore company in data from the Paradise Papers published today in the Athens daily Ethnos.
According to the report, Grabowski was the basic shareholder of an offshore that was managing a Virgin Islands fund.
Eternia Capital Management was registered in the Cayman Islands on 30 March 2010. Grabowski and a former colleague of hers from when she worked at Deutsche Bank were the shareholders.
New Democracy immediately went on the counter-attack, with spokesperson Maria Spyraki and party vice-president Adonis Georgiadis declaring that Grabowski’s involvement in the company was entirely legal and already known publicly. They underlined that investigative journalist and publisher Kostas Vaxevanis had reported the story in his newspaper Documento.
Spyraki said that the company, which operated between 2010-2012 was loss-making, and that Grabowski has never wired money out of Greece or laundered money.
In a lengthy reply to Ethnos, Graboswski said that her financial activity was legal and that, “during that period I was separated from my husband, which no one doubts and which has been confirmed by the competent authorities…so any innuendo of that sort is groundless”.
Kammenos’ munitions sale
New Democracy is maintaining that Grabowski is being used as a smokescreen to divert attention from Defense Minister Panos Kammenos involvement in the sale of ammunition to Saudi Arabia, in which a middle man was reportedly involved. Kammenos told parliament that middlemen are now excluded from all Greek arms purchases and sales.
New Democracy in a statement spoke of a suspicious middleman and pointed to the probe into the matter by a military prosecutor.
The probe came after a top level officer testified that Kammenos signed a 66 million euro agreement with a particular middleman, with no transparency and illegally.
New Democracy’s shadow defense minister is expected to petition the Greek supreme court prosecutor to investigate the case.