According to a press release posted by Mr Chountis on his personal website (link in Greek) the parliamentary question which was originally submitted in February was as follows (translation by TPPi):

“Recent articles of the German newspaper Der Spiegel implicate the President of the German Federation of Industries [Ulrich Grillo] in cases of bribery regarding Greek defense system procurement programs from the end of the decade of the 1990’s when he was head of the companies Rheinmetall and STN Atlas [read TPPi’s coverage of the allegations here]. Evidence from the investigating authorities in Bremen is also cited, according to which among the accused are ten former collaborators of Rheinmetall and 6 collaborators of STN Atlas. Indeed the same authorities, in a decision to issue an investigative warrant note that, “already from 1999 STN Atlas had raised questions with the leadership of the group over the handling of unusually high commissions towards the ‘cooperating partner’ of one Greek representative.

“Given that in its answer Ε-007718/2013, the Commission responded that Germany is the only country in the EU which has not ratified the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on
Corruption, nor the United Nation’s Convention against Corruption, and that, ‘The implementation of anti-corruption policies in all Member States is followed as part of the EU anti-corruption reporting mechanism ('EU Anti-Corruption Report'),’ with ‘assessments oof the Member States efforts against corruption’ and ‘exposing systemic problems,’ The Commission is asked:

“Has it made recommendations to Germany in order for it to ratify the two aforementioned anti-corruption conventions? What justifications does Germany give for their non-ratification? Does it know if investigations are currently underway in Greece and in Germany to shed light on the particular case which involves improper practices regarding public contracts, bribery etc.? From which authorities? At what stage are they? Are the competent branches of the Commission monitoring the case in question? If yes, which are these? If not under what circumstances will they undertake its investigation?

According to Mr Chountis, the MEP received the following response from the Secretariat European Parliament:

“The President requested that I inform you over his decision, in an implementation of Annex III of the Rules of Procedure, related to the ability to accept questions for a written response (Rule 117).
Given that your question Ε-001247/2014revis.1 was considered to exceed the competence and responsibility of the Commission, the President determined it to be unacceptable.
Francesca R. Ratti”

While according to European Parliamentary rules, the President of the Parliament is the ultimate arbiter of what questions are admissible, the decision by Martin Schulz raised eyebrows among many, and was rejected by Mr Chountis.

In a statement released by the MEP, he called the reasoning behind the rejection of the question ‘baseless’  given that the European Union has itself adopted the United Nations’ Convention against Corruption which Germany refuses to ratify. Mr Chountis also stressed that the Commission is duty-bound to monitor bribery cases, even if these have been handled by the justice system of member states.

One can only hope that Mr Schulz’s decision to reject Mr Chountis’s question has nothing to do with the former’s current candidacy for the position of President of the European Commission and a potential unwillingness to ask awkward questions of the Eurozone’s most powerful member. Because if one thing is clear for the ongoing investigations into the Greek MoD’s procurement programs, it is that German and other Northern European companies were as willing to pay millions in bribes for over-priced contracts as the Greek officials were to receive them.

So far Martin Schulz, a candidate on behalf of the European Socialists, has tried to distance himself from the current German policy and to appear as being independent from Berlin’s management of the crisis. Recently, during a debate on France24 television, he indirectly attacked Chancellor’s Merkel decisions: He said that “Juncker (the candidate backed by Merkel’s CDU and the European Popular Party) and other mostly conservative leaders in charge of the European institutions at the outbreak of the euro zone debt crisis had misdiagnosed the problem by prescribing strict austerity, forcing millions out of work”. But critics doubt whether he is really that different: During the same debate, one of the presenters asked both candidates: “What distinguishes you from each other?” There was an embarrassed pause before Schulz said: “I don't know what distinguishes us… The EPP candidate (Juncker) is quite close to my programme, but whether the EPP is so close is another question.”