By: Agence France-Presse

Greece will claim billions of euros from Swiss pharmaceutical large Novartis, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated Monday as he referred to as on parliament to examine bribes allegedly paid to distinguished politicians.

“The government will not give up the claim to funds of which Novartis deprived the Greek people,” Tsipras stated.

“We will make use of every power afforded by national and international law to recover the money stolen from the Greek people, down to the last euro,” he advised his occasion lawmakers.

Investigators consider that Novartis overcharged the Greek state for medicines in collaboration with authorities officers who acquired kickbacks, bilking taxpayers to the tune of three billion euros ($three.7 billion) between 2006 and 2015.

Overall, comparable practises throughout the well being sector are believed to have price Greece some 23 billion euros between 2000 and 2015.

Novartis on Monday stated it has been cooperating with US and Greek authorities for over 14 months, while conducting an inner audit of its personal and pledging to take motion in opposition to errant workers.

“We pledge to act accordingly on possible actions that do not meet our high moral standards of business,” it stated.

The firm stated it was not absolutely conscious of the case file, however argued that “public debate surrounding the case includes inaccuracies and conjecture”.

Two former Greek prime ministers and eight former ministers have been named by protected witnesses — whose id is being withheld — as allegedly being concerned in approving overpriced Novartis contracts in return for kickbacks.

Only parliament has the facility to examine former ministers for actions taken throughout their time period in workplace. The chamber is predicted to approve Tsipras’ demand for a parliamentary fee to look into the case.

Several of the politicians allegedly named, together with former prime minister Antonis Samaras and ex-health minister Dimitris Avramopoulos — now the EU’s migration chief — have denied involvement and referred to as on the witnesses to publicly reveal themselves.

Greece’s Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis final yr stated Novartis had doubtless bribed “thousands” of docs and civil servants to promote its merchandise.

He additionally accused Novartis of constant to promote “overpriced” medicine even after the nation was plunged into financial disaster in 2010 and big cuts had been imposed on state budgets, leaving many Greeks with out entry to inexpensive medication.

The case gained consideration following a suicide try by a Novartis supervisor in Athens in January 2017.

Novartis was investigated by US authorities in 2014, accused of paying bribes in order to enhance gross sales of a few of its medicines, and was later fined $390 million by the US Justice Department.

In March 2017, Novartis additionally paid $25 million to settle claims involving its Chinese subsidiary.