Germany welcomes Siemens deal with Greece over bribery

9th March 2012, Comments 0 comments

A deal between German electronics giant Siemens and Greece to end a decade-old bribery scandal was an "encouraging" first sign of economic cooperation, the economics ministry said here Friday.

The 270-million-euro ($357 million) deal, announced Thursday in Athens and which must still be ratified by the Greek parliament, is "a first important, cheering and encouraging sign", a German ministry spokesman said.

The Greek government last year demanded compensation from Siemens, which has admitted using a slush fund to obtain foreign contracts.

The deal includes Siemens handing over 90 million euros to the Greek government to help it fight corruption and 80 million euros to help it pay off debts.

The German group will also "invest 100 million euros in Greece in 2012", and will "examine the possibility of setting up a 60-million-euro production plant" in the country, the Greek finance ministry said.

However, while the deal settles the question of "administrative fines", it does not close the door to judicial prosecution.

Siemens declined to comment on the deal.

© 2012 AFP

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