Alt. Reform Minister Katrougalos strongly denies corruption allegations

A media report accusing Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform George Katrougalos of taking advantage of his post to rehire former clients of his from when he was practicing as a lawyer caused uproar in the political scene of Greece on Saturday.

According to the article, Katrougalos, who worked as a lawyer for a private firm before he became minister, signed just before the elections private agreements with civil servants who had been laid off by the previous government. These contracts stipulated that he would receive a 12% commission of the gross amount which would be awarded to his clients by court, in case of reinstatement.

Katrougalos stated yesterday that the article, published by Greek daily To Vima, is an effort to undermine the work of the Government.

More specifically, the Atl. Minister said that he resigned from the legal firm after he was elected and has not taken up any similar case since then.

He also noted that he doesn’t expect a personal fee from any of these cases because these amounts would be received from the firm he used to work in until the European elections.

The report generated strong reactions from several political parties.

Opposition party PASOK asked on Saturday for the removal of Katrougalos from his post, accusing him of turning his political career into a lucrative profession.

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) also said in a statement that the Alt. Reform Minister should be expelled from the government if the allegations are true.

“Now everyone realizes what it means to have a Left government in Greece for the first time,” the ND spokesman said in his statement.