APRIL 2012: Siemens wins 41m euro Athens metro project
MINISTER VORIDIS STEERS THE SLEAZY QUID PRO QUO
Former Nazi Makis Voridis….brokered Siemens deal
The Greek people will never, ever have a straight and above-board political system until all the current mob have been thrown out.This is the conclusion many observers have now reached: and allied to that conclusion is the blatant amorality of a Brussels elite that not only has no interest in throwing them out: it would rather deal with corrupt fascists….just so long as they keep saying yes to the madness.
Behind the bland MSM headlines about today’s award of a 41m euro Athens metro contract to Siemens lies the usual complex trail of hands in pockets and easy non-competitive appointments that perpetuates the Greek political elite. There are so many deals in this story, it is at times bewildering. I will therefore stick to enumeration: it’ll make it so much easier for me to get down, and you to follow.
1. There was much wrangling during 2011 between Athens and Siemens about how much compensatiom they should pay for three decades of bribing Greek officials. Evangelo Venizelos was personally involved in the negotiation, and keen to get it settled: he had almost certainly been one of the bribees. But things were getting stuck.
2. November 2011: enter Makis Voridis, new recruit to New Democracy (having ratted on his former fascist colleagues in LAOS) who gets the Transport portfolio…in return for sticking with Papademos on the bailout terms. Voridis is a big wheel in the area surrounding Athens, known as Attica. He’s particularly friendly with the taxi drivers there, who are basically a glorified mafia. So the Transport portfolio offers him all kinds of ‘opportunities’.
3. At the turn of the year, a deal is done. Voridis has a metro contract in the pipeline: if Siemens accept what their lawyers tell them are onerous compensation terms of 170m euros, Voridis will award them the Metro project of 41m euros.
4. Just three weeks later, Makis Voridis is foolish (or brazen) enough to tell the Jan 13 issue of Greek Reporter that ‘ratification of a major contract with the German multinational Siemens for a signalling system along the extensions of the metro would be discussed in Parliament next week, followed by its signature for the completion of the work.’
The tender is supposed to be still open. No other bidders are involved.
5. But by now, his taxi driver friends are upset: subway transport is bad for business. Fear not, the Minister says, I will look after you.
6. This is what I posted at The Slog on March 10th this year:
‘Earlier this week, the German company Siemens agreed to pay 170 million euros compensation and create 700 new jobs in Greece in order to avoid a long-running bribery scandal going to Court. That’s a big price to pay, so the mind boggles at just how smelly the whole process must’ve been. Personally negotiating the compensation was – guess who? – Evangelos Venizelos. The bribery concerned bungs that Siemens gave to Greek politicians and senior civil servants over several decades to secure public contracts…’
But it appears that Voridis’s contribution finally broke the deadlock. Now for the taxi-drivers.
7. On 23rd March – just as Greece
becomes legally insolvent completes the bond-swap, Makis Voridis finds himself embroiled in a row with a fellow Papademos Minister, Yiannis Ragousis (PASOK). Himself a former Transportation Minister, Ragousis argues that the proposed Voridis taxi reforms protect the interests of taxi owners in Athens – who had already strongly reacted against more cab licences in the Greek capital. Ragousis, you see, has been tipped off about Makis’s little plan. But the bill passes.
Originally designed to ‘liberalise’ taxi licence ownership, the Voridis Bill effectively blocks any extension of it. Breathtaking hypocrisy….but now everyone’s happy.
8. Yesterday, April 11th 2012, Handelsblatt readers wake up to discover that Siemens will recoup 25% of the fine in 2013 alone…having been awarded the contract to extend the Athens subway.
On the same day, former Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos was arrested in connection with the purchase of German submarines. He is accused of accepting bribes in the Greek purchase of four submarines worth €2.85 billion in 2000. Siemens was also a major supplier at the time. But it gets worse.
Our lad Makis Voridis has a bit of a chequered past. That is, he once followed not so much a chequered flag, as a swastika.
As a student, Voridis was known as ‘Hammer’ on accout of his penchant for using one to beat out the brains of left-wing students opposed to the Greek Colonels regime. Makis was, naturally, an enthusiastic supporter of it.
In 1994 – his time as a Leftie-bashing student over – he helped found the The Hellenic Front. In 2004’s elections, the HF formed a bloc with the neo-Nazi “Front Party” headed by Greece’s most notorious Holocaust denier, Konstantinos Plevis. His rambling volume, “Jews: The Whole Truth,” praised Hitler, and called for the extermination of any Jews sein geliebter Fuhrer might have missed. Plevis was charged and found guilty of “inciting racial hatred” in 2007, but his sentence was overturned on appeal in 2009. He appears to have known all the right people.
By that time, Makis “Hammer” Voridis had furthered his political career, merging the Hellenic Front Party into the far-right LAOS party, an umbrella party for all sorts of neo-Nazi and nutcase political organizations. That’s how he got to be Transport Minister – once Germany decided against the bailout referendum on behalf of the Greek electorate.
Doesn’t this all make you so proud to be part of the European Project? Well hang about, there’s yet more.
70% of the Metro project is being financed by Brussels. With our money. For a country in a depression and facing cuts in every service known to man. From a company once described by a Munich judge as ‘probably the most corrupt company in German history’. Who were chosen by a corrupt former fascist upstart following a sleazy deal involving Troika support and the Athenian taxi mafia.
I’m going to go for a walk now in what’s left of Britain’s green and pleasant land…before Cameron and his developer chums tarmac it over in return for a £3.6m Conservative Party
bribe contribution. For company, I’m going to have my 100% ethical wife, and three terriers. I’ll feel better when I get back.
Mark my words: we are on the way to becoming Greece. The whole f**king world is on the way to becoming Greece. But the poor electors of Greece are the ones living under this Greek coalition. A coalition that is nothing more than a turd under the Brussels jackboot.