Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis suggested that the scandal regarding alleged payoff by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis will shake Greek society.
“One year ago, I had stated that the Novartis scandal, both from the ethical and financial perspective will shake Greek society much more than the Siemens scandal, “ Kontonis said after a meeting to brief Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras regarding the affair last night.
Kontonis said that the judicial file will be delivered to parliament today, on orders from Tsipras.
It is unclear how or why the prime minister had issued such an order, as prosecutor are required by law to immediately send a judicial file to parliament if the name of a minister appears in the case, regardless of whether there is even no indication of wrongdoing.
“The scandal with drugs is huge, because during a period of economic crisis, there were pharmaceutical companies operating in an illegal manner and with overpricing. This is the reason that drugs expenditures skyrocketed to levels double that of the average EU spending, Kontonis said.
Kontonis said that the prime minister ordered that all procedures provided by law and by the regulations of parliament must immediately put in motion. Tsipras also directed that opposition parties be briefed so as to reach their own conclusions.
Kontonis said that the president of Novartis Hellas has not been prosecuted as of yet, but he has been prohibited from leaving and should remain to face prospective charges.
Alternate Justice Minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos, a former prosecutor, said that, “This is the biggest scandal from the foundation of the Greek state.”