Avramopoulos on Novartis: Anonymous witnesses aim for democracy and rule of law

EPA-EFE/PETER KLAUNZER

Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, speaks during a press conference at the third meeting of the Central Mediterranean Contact Group in Bern, Switzerland, 13 November 2017.

Avramopoulos on Novartis: Anonymous witnesses aim for democracy and rule of law


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European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said he would file a lawsuit at the Greek Supreme Court, asking the court to reveal the protected witnesses that have accused him and other nine politicians of taking bribes from Swiss Pharmaceutical company Novartis.

When in 2004 New Democracy won the parliamentary elections, Avramopoulos’ second ministerial post was as Minister of Health and Social Solidarity, from 2006 to 2009. This is the time frame which he is accused by anonymous witnesses, in exchange for buying much more H1N1 vaccines during the flu outbreak at the time.

Commissioner Abramopouos talked about “hoods and pseudo-martyrs” that cast shadows. “It’s a matter of moral order and dignity,” added Avramopoulos from Athens. According to the Greek Commissioner, the claims mentioned in the case file that was sent to the Greek Parliament undermines democracy and the institutions.

“They aim for democracy, the rule of law and the political order of the country”, added the Commissioner, suggesting that the case directly embraces the political representation of Greece, by “directly challenging democracy and its officials.“

“I stand by the side of my country, I do not care who is in power,” added Avramopoulos, mentioning that during his incumbency as a Commissioner, the proposal for Greece to leave the Schengen zone, and he has handled the case in a way to help Greece. “The government must not feel insecure from the position of the European Commissioner,” concluded Avramopoulos.

The Greek Commissioner is expected to brief the College of Commissioners next week, while the Commission from Brussels refuses to further comment on the case aside from what Avramopoulos has stated throughout the week.

According to the Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras will be recommending the conduction of a preliminary inquiry committee. According to the Greek Parliament speaker Nikos Voutsis, the plenary could vote on the proposal within the forthcoming week.

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