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Facing Graft Probe, Greek Parliament President May Quit

Greek Parliament President Vangelis Meimarakis

Greek Parliament President Vangelis Meimarakis, who suspended himself during a reported probe into the bank accounts of 36 politicians that allegedly found huge sums in their bank accounts for which they couldn’t account, is feeling the heat and said he may quit the post.
“I am considering resigning,” Meimarakis told reporters, adding that he was willing to provide copies of the origin of wealth (“pothen esches”) declarations he has submitted to authorities since he was first elected an MP in 1989 in a bid to clear his name.
The former defense minister called on Nikos Hatzinikolaou, the publisher of the Real News daily that published the allegations linking Meimarakis and two other ex-ministers to money laundering, to do the same. “I want to know my accuser,” said Meimarakis, a former General Secretary for New Democracy and close ally of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
He also engaged in an angry confrontation with fellow New Democracy Conservative colleague and another former minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who had appeared on Hatzinikolaou’s morning radio program. Meimarakis’ outburst took place in the corridors of Parliament in front of shocked journalists.
He yelled at Pavlopoulos: “I heard this morning that you went to Chatzinikolaou and sucked up to him. Come here and suck mine; it’s better!” reporters said. Meimarakis was Samaras’ choice to head the Parliament and his candidate to be an interim premier in a brief former coalition government but his gruff manner surprised witnesses.
He is now the second former defense minister to be investigated for alleged wrongdoing, although the financial crimes squad SDOE said it does not have enough evidence to forward any of the cases to Parliament, while a Supreme Court prosecutor said he wants to take them over. Akis Tsochatzopoulos, a former PASOK Socialist stalwart, has been jailed on charges of stealing as much as $1.29 billion from defense contracts.
The list of 36 names said to have been compiled by SDOE was published on the Internet by Greek media and included Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos, as well as:
Nikolas Tagaras – New Democracy MP for Corinthia
Elpida Tsouri – former PASOK MP and deputy minister
Yiannis Kourakis – former PASOK MP and deputy minister, Mayor of Iraklio
Yiannis Anthopoulos – former deputy minister, PASOK
Tasos Mantelis – former minister, PASOK
Yiannos Papantoniou – former minister, PASOK
Yiannis Sbokos – former MP, PASOK
Nikitas Kaklamanis – New Democracy MP, former Athens Mayor
Aris Spilitiopoulos – New Democracy MP, former minister
Apostolos Fotiadis – former deputy minister, PASOK
Giorgos Voulgarakis – former minister, New Democracy
Fevronia Patrianakou, former New Democracy MP
Nikos Konstantopoulos –former leader of Synaspismos
Eliza Vozemberg – New Democracy MP
Panayiotis Fasoulas – former PASOK MP, ex-Mayor of Piraeus
Fotis Arvanitis – former PASOK MP
Dimitris Apostolakis – former deputy minister, PASOK
Michalis Liapis – former minister, New Democracy
Christos Verelis – former minister, PASOK
Kostas Liaskas – former minister, PASOK
Giorgos Orfanos – former minister, New Democracy
Spilios Spiliotopoulos – former minister, New Democracy
Petros Mantouvalos – former New Democracy MP
Athanasios Nakos – New Democracy MP
Alexandros Voulgaris – former New Democracy MP
Marina Hrysoveloni – Independent Greeks MP
Leonidas Tzanis – former deputy minister, PASOK
Antonis Bezas – former deputy minister, New Democracy
Michalis Halkidis – former New Democracy MP
Michalis Karchimakis – former PASOK MP

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