Greek State Assets in U.S.A. in Danger of Confiscation for Unpaid Fines

Thursday, April 13th, 2017
Last Update: 12:39

Greek State assets in the U.S. are threatened with confiscation due to a 40 million euro fine imposed by a U.S. court against the country on the C4I case, Kathimerini newspaper reports.

The case concerns the appeal by the American company SAIC against the Ministry of Public Order for the installation of the security system of the 2004 Olympic Games, known as C4I.

Informally, U.S. judicial authorities have recently ratified an earlier conviction against Greece by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration tribunal and have made the sum of 40 million euros due immediately, the report says.

The U.S. court ruled against the Greek State in July 2013, asking the Greek government to pay 40 million euros, a sum corresponding to a balance of debt plus the letters of guarantee which it had (unlawfully, according to the verdict) received from the State.

The execution of the decision was initially suspended, as the Athens Court of Appeals upheld the Greek State’s lawsuit and annulled the decision of the ICC. This verdict, however, was dismissed in November 2016 by Greece’s Supreme Court, which requested a re-examination of the case, asking for a new hearing.

Following this development, the U.S. court ruled that the Greek State must make the payment immediately. According to the Kathimerini report, legal proceedings have started to seize Greek State assets in the United States.

Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Citizen Protection and the State Legal Council have been notified on this latest development. Government officials said that any action by the Greek side will be taken after consultation with the State Legal Council. The officials said that any payment to be made by the State requires a Greek court decision.

The Greek State contract with SAIC was signed on May 2003. It provided that “the cost of providing TETRA network services for 10 years starting on 1 August 2004 amounts to 82.1 million euros.” In June 2009, however, the American company SAIC (its new business name is Leidos Inc.) had filed a claim with the International Arbitration Tribunal for debts of 60 million euros. According to the court, the Greek State had received and accepted the C4I system, without paying the corresponding price. The Ministry of Public Order refused to pay the whole price, arguing that there were significant deviations from the original contract.

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