28 September, 2006
Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos on Wednesday clarified that the Greek Economic and Social Council (ESC) had recommended Aristea Sinanioti for the Competition Commission, once again denying the involvement of the development ministry in the appointment.
Commenting on a press report that Sinanioti had been appointed by the development minister, the spokesman stressed that ESC operated independently of any minister, while laws required that its representatives participate in various administrative councils.
Those representatives are selected by ESC and not by the minister, Roussopoulos added, and referred reporters to statements on the issue made by ESC and the development ministry on Tuesday.
Both ESC and the leadership of the development ministry issued announcements in response to a Tuesday report in the Greek daily "Eleftherotypia" that claimed they had tampered with appointments to the Competition Commission, putting pressure on the ESC to select a ministry-backed candidate.
They clarified that the ministry's objections to the original candidates proposed by the ESC were based solely on the fact that they had already served two terms on the Competition Commission and were barred by law from serving a third.
According the ministry, ESC originally sought to renew the term of its existing representatives on the Commission and, when informed this was not possible, sent another list containing the two original names and two additional names. The ministry wrote back, pointing out that the list should contain three names, but decided to go ahead with the appointment of the two eligible candidates proposed by ESC.
This was confirmed by ESC President Nikos Analytis, who said that the ESC had at all times based its decisions on the experience, knowledge and reliability of the persons involved, without any outside pressure or intervention.
Source: Athens News Agency