An Independent Greeks lawmaker was set to appear before a Supreme Court prosecutor on Thursday after claiming on a TV show, earlier this week, that she was offered a bribe to back the coalition government’s candidate for president early next year.
Stavroula Xoulidou said she was contacted by an official of ruling New Democracy, who offered to “solve her financial problem” with ‘€2 or 3 million’, if she voted for the coalition’s presidential candidate in February.
She also claimed that she received an email from the ND cadre which said that fellow Independent Greek MP Panayiotis Melas had already accepted a bribe for the same purpose.
Melas intervened on the TV show and denied the allegations and threatened to file a lawsuit for defamation.
Xoulidou’s bribery assertion was backed by the leader of the rightwing, anti-memorandum party, Panos Kammenos, who claimed that the individual that offered the bribe was a close associate of a government minister.
He said that the coalition government of New Democracy and socialist Pasok, are desperate to garner the 180 votes needed in the 300-seat parliament to elect a new president, in order to avoid snap election as mandated in the country’s constitution. The election of the president is made in parliament. If parliament fails to reach a consensus, it is dissolved and general elections are called.
The investigation of Xoulidou’s claims follows another one launched in October when a senior ranking member of main opposition Syriza referred to a media report that alleged that businessmen, linked to the government, had created a special fund to bribe lawmakers to vote for the coalition’s nominee for president.
Syriza spokesman Panos Skourletis had claimed that business friends of the Prime Minister had already ‘brought out their piggy banks to raise money’ for that purpose.
The investigating prosecutor at the time ruled that he had found no evidence to back the claim.
* In October a media report alleged that businessmen had created a "piggy bank" to bribe MPs.