EPP leader calls for suspension of Greek MEP critical of pharmaceutical scandal – EURACTIV.com


The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament will vote today (9 March) on a proposal by its leader Manfred Weber to suspend a lawmaker who criticized the Greek government for its handling of a scandal linked to the pharmaceutical company Novartis as well as the prosecution of the judges and journalists who uncovered it.

Weber has proposed a one-year suspension of Greek MEP Giorgos Kyrtsos’ rights as a member of the group. Two-thirds of those present to vote will be needed to pass Weber’s proposal.

The reason for this proposal is the strong criticism of the Greek legislator against the New Democracy government in power in Athens (also a member of the EPP) for not having asked for compensation – following a scandal involving the Swiss multinational – as has been the case in the United States.

In a letter to his group comrades, the Greek MEP, who was expelled of the ruling New Democracy for discrediting the country, said: “Novartis has reached an agreement with the US government to pay $345 million to the relevant US authorities to resolve cases under the Corrupt Practices Act in abroad”.

He added that the Swiss multinational has also admitted in a US court to the unfair and illegal business practices it was applying in Greece.

“But despite the Greek government‘s immediate commitment to seek compensation from Novartis for the corruption disclosures, there has been no appeal for justice for 20 months, and Novartis still enjoys full immunity from corruption. persecution and possible compensation in Greece,” the MEP wrote in his letter.

“In other words, Novartis is paying the fines to the United States for the dirty work they did in Greece, and the Greek government is not taking any legal action!” he added.

In his letter, Kyrtsos, also described as “illiberal”, practices the prosecution of the two journalists and a top judge who uncovered the scandal.

“I am also against the persecution of a senior judge because it sends the wrong message about the relationship between the executive branch and the judiciary. For this, I was expelled from my Party and now risk being suspended as an active member of the EPP,” concluded Kyrtsos.

Former anti-corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki is holding a hearing on Wednesday before the European Parliament’s corruption committee in Strasbourg.

EURACTIV Greece has been told that Touloupaki will brief European lawmakers in detail about what happened with the Novartis scandal and how she ended up being prosecuted.

The supreme judge will also seek EU intervention in the case, which is directly linked to the status of the rule of law in the country.


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