Is Greece Debt Crisis a Case of Odious Debt?

The World

Feeling like reading about another alleged bribes scandal? Bloomberg has it. And Yes, it involves another state company. The Hellenic Telecommunications Organization OTE. According to Bloomberg, it involves the New York-based Comverse Technology, a voice-mail software maker, currently under investigation for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by the US Justice Department.

BriberyThe FCPA violations arose from $536,000 (369,749.26 EUR) in improper payments made from 2003 to 2005 to individuals connected to OTE, a unit of Athens-based Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA  to obtain purchase orders, according to the Justice Department, citing a non- prosecution agreement.

The payments were inaccurately characterized as legitimate commissions on the books of a Comverse unit in Tel Aviv, according to the statement. (Read Full Bloomberg Story )

Greek daily Isotimia reported that OTE is to proceed to an internal investigation against two people.

Bribes have usually the effect that goods are overcharged so that the illegal money won’t be paid by the seller. The Greek State has a stake in OTE the rest belongs to the German Telecom.

Now if we add the € 369,749.26 US-bribes to the €150,400,000 German bribes from SIEMENS, Ferostaal and DBI we come to a sum of 150,669,749.26 euros of  Odious Debt, that is -according to  international law- ,  a legal theory which holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, should not be enforceable.

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