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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Speech of the Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos in the parliament during the discussion of the finding of the investigation committee on the loans of political parties and Media

Mr. Speaker,
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I am one of the oldest persons in this room. Since 1993, I have attended every investigation committee and, as I did in the past, despite my obligations, I read the minutes of this Investigation Committee carefully.
 
Although no political liabilities have come up from this Investigation Committee – this was in the past the criterion of the successful work of an investigation committee – I would like to say that this Investigation Committee might be one of the most successful investigation committees that have been created in the Hellenic Parliament.
 
And why is that? Because, firstly, out of the minutes of the Investigation Committee and the testimonies of the witnesses who testified, tomorrow morning, after the end of this discussion 15 prosecutors should be here, the prosecutor responsible for money laundering, the prosecutor responsible for corruption, to take the files and the testimonies and start penal prosecutions as well as penal investigations. Things were said and recorded which we used to say on air, but they have never had the legal force of a testimony before an investigation committee. So, I expect them to do it.

And if some people think that, after what has been said and after the end tonight, this story ends, they are wrong. They are very wrong because what this investigation committee did was technically to examine the situation of politics after the dictatorship.
 
What is the situation of politics after the dictatorship? The situation is that since 1996 until 2014, namely via subsidies and unpaid bank loans, the two biggest parties were given 1, 3 billion euro. If one adds also the bank advertisements which the big parties used as an indirect financing of assets, if one adds also the “black money” of Hellenic Centre for Disease Control & Prevention, the “black money” of ATEBank, the “black” money of Siemens, he will see that we are talking about many billion euro which technically were transferred through politics – some of them officially and some others unofficially – to media which were not media of information of the Greek people, yet means of control of a political game.
 
Some of them as “weapons” for political adversaries to be defeated, some of them as means of covering scandals, some of them as means of manipulation of the public opinion to drive Greece to a default and for some people to confiscate the wealth of Greeks.

This is what this Investigation Committee did.
 
How abundant money! And it must be investigated where this abundant money is now. As I said earlier, we are not done yet.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The second issue that is raised by this Investigation Committee and I believe that is very important is what we said during the testimony of the Director of the Bank of Greece, Mr. Stournaras.
 
What did Mr. Stournaras say? That technically – and this is what I ask from the Minister of Justice –Kaloudis’ finding should be investigated. The finding of Kaloudis is the finding that Prosecutor Kaloudis handed on 15 March, 2013, waiting for the approval on the execution of penal prosecutions until 18 April, when an amendment was suddenly introduced to the development law 4146/2003 according to which the bank employees who signed the financing that was granted illegally over the period 2000-2011 were exempted from liability and only state subsidies would be guaranteed until 2020, thinking that the finding will be forgotten.

So, the Director of the Bank of Greece invited by the MPs testifies and this raises a discussion of the amendment proposed by Mr. Tzoumanis of the New Democracy party and by Mr. Xhristogiannis and Mr. Stamenitis, which provided for immunity to bank personnel. And Mr. Stournaras says: “It is referred to legal entities of Public Law and legal entities of Private law that belong to the General Government. Parties”, Mr. Stournaras added, “do not belong to the General Government”. And this opens the way to the retroaction of the finding.

What does this amendment mean? This amendment of 2013, ladies and gentlemen, is the point where Antonis Samaras, as Leader of the New Democracy party, turns New Democracy, a party founded on the principles set by Konstantinos Karamanlis so far, into a defender of PASOK under Giorgos Papandreou, Kostas Simitis and afterwards Evangelos Venizelos.
 
To explain it simpler to the Greek people it is the moment when they start “cooperating” with each other, it is the moment when Prosecutor Kaloudis caught them and, overnight, they voted this famous amendment which, as the Director of the Bank of Greece says today officially to the Investigation Committee, does not regard the parties.
 
Mr. Minister of Justice, I am officially asking you to investigate the legal force of what Mr. Director of the Bank of Greece stated and also for the prosecutions under Kaloudis’ finding to begin immediately.
 
This is the second important result which came up from the discussion conducted by this Investigation Committee.
 
A third issue is the one that was raised about penal liabilities; in particular of the Media as far as what was testified, what was found in the finding of the Committee is concerned. We are talking with names in general. I will be talking with specific names and I will prove that the Authority for Money Laundering and the Prosecutor of Corruption are obliged – and I ask this from this floor of the Parliament – to take action tomorrow in a number of cases.
 
First Case: “Parapolitika”. Mr. Panagiotis Mitarakis asks: “Are they also included in the declaration of sources of income?” Mr. Ioannis Kourtakis answers: “They are included in every declaration of source of income I have submitted”. Panagiotis Mitarakis: “Do you remember the amount with which you funded the newspaper?” Ioannis Kourtakis: “The total amount that I had given to the newspaper amounts approximately to 1,400,000 euro”. Panagiotis Mitarakis: “which has come from private property and work earnings of 18 years, as you said before?” Witness: “Exactly. When I issued the newspaper, I was working in seven media”.
 
Show me an MP, a Minister, a Prime Minister, an editor who managed to earn such an amount of money within the same number of years of work with the salaries that newspapers paid and has saved 1,400,000 euro. There is none.
 
Let’s now see what the finding of the Committee of the Parliament was on “Parapolitika”. It is proved that in February 2014, the loan of 800,000 euro which should be paid back until 2019 with an installment of 13,350 euro, is approved, with some amounts being ensured from the earnings from the circulation and cash coverage of 1.2 billion euro from a deposition. This closed account belongs to an off-shore company of a particular ship-owner.
 
November 2014: The circulation was cancelled because it was covered by money from the account of the ship-owner, that is the off-shore.
 
December 2014: The coverage by the closed account was cancelled, following a request of the off shore due to its oncoming listing on a foreign stock exchange as of 1-1-2015 with a change of the terms of the payment of the loan. The National Bank of Greece accepts a part of the loan payment to come from the expenses of any future advertisements of the Bank in “Parapolitika”.

This is what can be concluded so far from the testimony of the editor, according to the finding of the Committee. There are, however, some more details. As a coincidence, this particular editor accidentally is also an employee and a director in “METRORAMA LIMITED COMPANY” based on 53-55 Kapetan Lachana Str. And I submit a document of the Commercial and Industrial Chamber of Piraeus – and also a partner until today with the responsible for the case of drugs of “Noor 1” who happens also to be the owner of this company.
Namely, this gentlemen who testified here with the 1,400,000 euro at this moment until today and, as may be concluded also by the Gazette of the Government which I submit today, is the man who was also an employee and also director of the company which the responsible for the case of drugs had, who bought this particular newspaper from a currently MEP.
 
You realize, then, that such a case is a case of which the Authority for Money Laundering should already be investigating their office and the witnesses who are in danger should be already protected.
 
Because, Mr. Minister of Justice, I was threatened and, after insulting me, he also insulted my wife and my mother-in-law, he also spoke against my 15 year old son and said that he is a terrorist and accomplice of Ms. Roupa; A fifteen-year old boy who has never been away from his home; It is a child who wants to go and study and he will forbid him to go abroad and will accuse him because this is what he likes to do.
 
And when we go to court, like the other time, he is afraid. Tomorrow, we have the second hearing, the reiteration. Mr. Voridis of the New Democracy party is his lawyer.

He is the same person, Mr. Speaker, who received money from Hellenic Centre for Disease Control & Prevention under different names. PARA ENA: 190,000 euro. HEALTH PRO: named as Tzenos, 177,000 euro. ALATI & PIPERI: 177,000 euro. Pay attention. METRORAMA: AImilios Kotsonis from Hellenic Centre for Disease Control & Prevention 87,000 euro. The drug dealer was paid by the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control & Prevention for the assets that he provided.

It is the same person who, after having attacked the spouse of the Minister of Justice unfairly – you can see that they are not afraid of anything – the next day he wrote on the first page of the paper , which does not happen even in Colombia “Kourtakis about Kontonis: Let this bastard remain in the government.”
 
It is these “weapons” of the press that if the prosecutors do not investigate, tomorrow morning we will be responsible. We will be liable as government, ladies and gentlemen, fellow ministers, ladies and gentlemen of the government parliamentary group. Because they continue this action this same action.
 
He will go to court tomorrow and he will say that is was my other son who studies in America and looks for a job now. And he will come with an accusation because simply Mr. Kourtakis likes to do this, that he is a friend of Pola Roula and a terrorist.
 
Dear colleagues, you can realize the importance of this matter because many people have suffered this bullying in this room. Some of them could not stand it. Some of them left this room without even being able to be vindicated.

The rest of them did the same exactly thing, ladies and gentlemen. Mr. Psycharis’ group did the same thing too. Mr. Psycharis’ group is the one that killed my father with their paper headings. They humiliated a 86-year-old man, a businessman who had not been accused ever of allegedly having yachts and off-shores. This man suffered from cancer. The financial auditing service did its duty. He was proved innocent. End of story. Yet, he had been humiliated because they had certain “weapons” to “execute” him.
 
The Prime Minister said that we should investigate the sources of income.
 
Mr. Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament,

In this public session, I request the sources of income of journalist Mr. Papachristos to be verified; so we will see whether it is true that he has 2,300,000 euro cash and up to 3 million from his various shares and from his work just like Mr.Kourtakis with a house on Leros and in Ioannina. Verify the source of income so we can see what is going on with the current director of “Ta Nea” newspaper who has a yacht 40 meters long and sails with two Philippinese men, a captain and an engineer. Did he also obtain all this from his work? Did he earn so much money? Until when shall we allow “weapons” to execute Democracy? This is where control begins from.  
 
Mr. Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I have no time to speak about the parties. I will say, though, that the fact that they executed, execute and will have to be stopped from executing does not mean that there are no honest journalists who are considered liable unfairly, just like the other employees of the press. I know cases of people with whom I had political conflicts. I will speak of late Kakaounakis who died poor. He was an editor. He was a radio producer. He was a political adversary. We quarreled often. It was Psycharis who took from him his almond tree orchards and put them on guarantee along with some properties in Kallithea, Tzitzifies, in order to receive 150 million euro, the guy who came here and told us that he breathes air. He confessed that he received loans without any guarantees.

In a well governed country they would have arrested him from the Investigation Committee with handcuffs. It is a crime. It is the same person who, ladies and gentlemen of the New Democracy party put Mr.. karamanlis on the front page like “Dolly” to imply that he is the result of a cloning. Of course, when the master of corruption Mr. Samaras came, he called Mr. Psycharis to ask his son to join the New Democracy as candidate MP and he finally was elected. This is why, dear colleagues of the New Democracy you are also responsible. Because New Democracy should not justify the person who insulted and fought Kostas Karamanlis just because Samaras chose to cooperate with Papandreou. Because he cooperated with Papandreou. And they cooperated to set it aside. I believe that now, when you took back also Giorgos Papandreou he will bring back also the 200 thousands of the gym room. This was good for PASOK. Let’s see.
 
I am reading then, because Ms. Gennimata referred to it earlier, an official document of the investigation under oath on 15 December 2015 of Michael Kokkinos, father’s name Andreas, auditor of KPMG.
 
Question: “Was the physical transfer and preservation in the cash desk of a rest of 15 million for two consecutive years in accordance with rules of good financial management?
 
Answer of the auditor under oath: “Absolutely not because something like this means loss of taxes and it creates a risk steal”.
 
“Were you provided with invoices for which a justification was given in relation to the transfer of the amount in certain expenses?” Answer of the auditor Mr. Kokkinos: “No, no explanation was given for the existence of the rest or the use of a part of it for certain expenses.”
 
Fifteen million out of one billion four hundred million of the officials – and we do not know of how many unofficial ones – are the one that was carried in bags and which controlled this country’s politics.
 
Of course, now it seems that Mr. Theodorikakos works for free in the New Democracy. We will see this later too, because at a certain moment there must also be an investigation committee for all those polling companies which, in a strange manner, all of them presented incorrect results. They all claimed that “Yes” would win with a difference of 10 percent. The INDEPENDENT HELLENES according to the results should never have more than 1,5%. Now they give us 2,4%. Even when we had 11% they said that our percentage would be much lower. I would like, at least for once, to open a newspaper and read that they give us a 3% or 4%. I have never seen this thanks to Theodorikakos.
 
Kaminaris Vasileios father’s name Georgios, economist, auditor of Ernst & Young Company:
“There were travel expenses and hundreds of thousands of euro for PASOK without any invoice for the years 2002-2011. The expenses were approved by the same person, the cashier who did also the payments which is a significant weakness of the internal auditing system and monitoring. We also found out that there were no contracts with service providers although there was a large volume of transaction with them. There were payments to physical persons only with lists without being supported by invoices and the reason was the students’ elections”. They also paid for students’ elections in cash. The 15 million were transferred out of there.

And he continues: “The amounts were low, 200-300 euro which, in total, however, amounted to a significant sum. Some of these amounts were deposited in bank accounts”.
 
All the above in any case are fiscal breaches. And I am asking the colleagues of PASOK party: Mr. Venizelos pressed charges. Now, when Giorgos Papandreou is back what will you do? Will you quarrel? You have to find a solution. Either one of them is guilty and must bring the money back or the other one decided to cover him.
 
Anyway, for any of them who remain out of a party, the New Democracy party is observing Samaras’ doctrine and is ready to let you join it. We will not do it in any case.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

This government has a strong cohesion and will never break until the Greek people decides it because neither Alexis Tsipras, nor anybody else in SYRIZA party, nor in the INDEPENDENT HELLENES who have not received even one euro as a loan, nor our MPs, nor our personnel are part of this political mud formed after the dictatorship.
 
But at this point an obligation comes up; the obligation to implement the order of the Greek people. All those who according to Greek people’s orders should be prosecuted and bring back what they stole, must bring them back as soon as possible.
 
And if some people among the civil service block this, we are obliged to denounce them. If you want, when some people testify and we see the testimonies, for example, of Mr. Provopoulos, if one reads the testimony of Mr. Stournaras about what happened with T3 and T10 and correlates them with cases which Vaso Papandreou had denounced in the past he will see that corruption does not end here; it is deeply rooted in Europe.
 
An if some do not want this government and fight a government that implemented what it had promised, through sacrifices of the Greek people, this happens because they are well aware that we are not going to accept any deficient submarines, we will not sign any contracts which we are blackmailed to sign to be the good children. We will resist because we have a mandate in a country that gave birth to Democracy.

Thank you very much.”