12 / 03 / 2012
The Greek nation is facing default for all kinds of reasons that range from insane lending policies by French and German banks to clever schemes worked out by Goldman Sachs to help the Greek Establishment lie to Brussels. But is is also in the mire because of many such cases of official greed and German profiteers. Perhaps, the next time German tabloids start shrieking about ‘lazy Greeks’, they should bear this in mind.
“We paid double for three submarines from Germany,” says an Athenian source who has lodged several incriminating documents with The Slog. Most of this, once again, seems to involve the near-ubiquitous role in German engineering and arms supplies of the multiply corrupt company Ferrostaal. Looking at the numbers, some of this appears to have been German profiteering connected to payoffs: “we give you 3 million euros, you lets us stuff the invoice with another 20 million” and so forth. And always in this farrago of filled pockets lurks the presence of numerous company acronyms MFI, MIE (Marine International), PDM, Zelan etc….all odd joint ventures and often registered in Liberia or Cyprus. All of them have obvious attachments to Greek elite members, and most of them in turn have connections to civil service procurement officers and/or senior politicians.
Several names crop up with menacing regularity….especially those of Yannis Beltsios, Michel Filipidis, Michael Matantos, Tony Georgiades, and his now retired father in law on the Board of Bank of Greece (a major participator in the recent default bond swap conducted by Athens) George Lanaras.
Using the quaint terms ‘related offset transactions and obligations’, MIE’s books for instance (supported by an independent legal investigation pointed out to The Slog) show that Michael Matantos of MIE alone handed on a grand total of 55.1 million euros during the period 2000-2004. Most of this was to oil the wheels (aka grease the palms) in relation to the supply of four submarines from Kiel dockyard.
The individual payments noted in that exhaustive report are horrifying, but relatively small-fry:
Between 2002-04, Ferrostaal paid 7.5m euros to PDM and Zelan. No activity of any substance can be traced to this Cypriot-based duo, and all the record of directors have vapourised. But their job was to ‘facilitate contract awards’ by Greek ministries. ‘The complete lack of any documentation supporting performance by these companies raises serious concerns’, says a confidential German report. In 2004, Dusseldorf prosecutors fingered Sotiris Emmanouil, the head of Hellenic Shipyards, as the recipient of illegal bribes running into millions of euros by yet another intermediary – HDW – and a later report showed he had indeed received 2.2 million euros via an affiliate in October of that year. Again, no evidence of services supplied exists. In July 2007, 11 million euros were handed to shady ‘facilitators’ Dolmarton. No back-up of tasks performed.