Greece planned German corruption probes – but was it just part of plan B?

Deutsche Welle reported  on Saurday that the Greek government produced a contingency plan that would “raise the cost of rupture” for Greece’s creditors – the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monteryary Fund – if the country was forced out of the eurozone.  The Deutsche Welle article was based on a  report published by Greek daily “Efimerida Ton Syntakton” where an anonymous government source claimed  that the Greek plan B included opening corruption probes into prominent German companies, including Siemens, Ferostaal, MAN and Hochtief.

“The report comes on the heels of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ statements to parliament on Friday, revealing that the young premier had instructed former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to produce a ‘defense plan’ in the event of a “Grexit” -‘If our creditors were preparing a Grexit plan, should we not have prepared our defenses?’ the prime minister asked, without going into further details of the plan” Deutsche Welle writes.
The Deutsche Welle article is bound to leave many readers puzzled; it implies that the investigation into blatant cases of corruption that cost Greek taxpayers billions and one of the main reasons for the huge Greek debt would only be ordered as a reprisal to Germany for pushing Greece out of the eurozone and not as part of a routine investigation in the interests of justice. It also implies that the revelation of the plan to reopen cases of corrupt practices adds to the pressure on the Tsipras government.

In the 1980s alone  Greece spent an average of 6.2% of its GDP on defence compared with a European average of 2.9%. In the years following their EU entry, the Greeks were the world’s fourth-highest spenders on conventional weaponry.

Corrupt German companies bribed corrupt Greek politicians to buy German goods and military equipment with  loans they took out from German banks.

Past Greek governments, in one way or another and for reasons that are not very clear,  have shelved investigations into allegations of scandals involving Siemens, Ferostaal  and MAN ,amongst others, that involved billions in defence and infrastructure projects.

The case of Hochtief’s unpaid taxes, said to be in the region of one billion euro, was another case reported recently in the international media.There is therefore nothing surprising  in the Greek government’s intention to reopen cases of corruption against German companies. The pressure on the government  would come from within the government circles and the public if the investigation into the corrupt deals of the past, was abandoned together with plan B.