Greece to investigate bribery claims against former minister

ATHENS, Greece – Parliament voted early on Tuesday (April 7th) to form a special committee to investigate former Aegean Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis for bribery, a move that may threaten the ruling New Democracy (ND) party’s one-seat majority.

Pavlidis is suspected of demanding bribes from a local shipowner in exchange for subsidised ferry routes. Under Greek law, only parliament can investigate acting or former ministers for possible crimes.

Pavlidis, a member of the ND’s parliamentary group, denies the charges. Suspension of his parliamentary membership would reduce the party’s representation to 150 of 300 seats. That might force Prime Minister Costas Karamalis to call snap elections.

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