Harris Ikonomopoulos
(President, British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce)

Copyright: Harris Ikonomopoulos on line

Following the Greek State’s reconciliation agreement with Siemens AG and OECD’s recent anticorruption compliance report, Harris Ikonomopoulos, the Greek President of the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, by letters to the Chairman of the Central Association of Greek Chambers and presidents of professional, local and bilateral chambers of commerce in Greece calls for a joint anticorruption initiative from professional associations of the Greek private sector. 

Mr. Ikonomopoulos, who has been spearheading a number of efforts against major corruption and impunity cases, has set the promotion of public transparency in awarding government contracts, best business practices and corporate ethics as one of BHCC’s priorities.

It is beyond doubt that the current dysfunctional system of governance and the shady or illegal ways of funding political parties, politicians and government officials have left a permanent stain on Greece leading potential investors to believe that the country is a land of corruption.

The disastrous bottom line of all this is to perpetuate the image of Greece as territory where not only FCPA and Anti-Bribery Act have little meaning but, also, that Greece still tolerates impunity, and allows individuals and/or companies that have defrauded the Greek Government and have brought ruin to innocent people, to simply “walk”.  Such reputation kills business, robs taxpayers, and destroys social cohesion.

In this context Mr. Ikonomopoulos and the BHCC is calling for the establishment, within 2012, of ethical and administrative “carrots and sticks” aimed at companies found to have engaged in corruption in order to secure government contracts in Greece, the EU, and/or internationally.

Sanctions could include suspension of membership for a minimum one year graduating eventually to ejection in cases of individuals and/or companies who have admitted, or been found guilty by the courts, of committing fraudulent acts in pursuit of government contracts.



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