Founded in 1847, Siemens has become famous not only for its wide range of products, but also for being a constant participant in the “bribery scandals” . Based on these violations we will try to see how different countries reacted to corruption. For examples, let’s take Japan at the beginning of the 20th century and modern Russia, Greece.
In the distant in 1913 after the overthrow of the third cabinet of Katsura Taro(who was considered not a clean politician), the “Father of the Japanese Navy” – Yamamoto Gombay (and this is the “Father of the Japanese Army” ) came to power .
Japan, as we know it, was created in 1869 after the final overthrow of the “bakufu” (shogun government) . Subsequently, the power passed to the emperor, and after de facto to the government and to the parliament.
Born in 1852, Yamamoto Gombay, he fought against the shogunate in 1868-1869 (he was 16-17 years old) and became the continuer of the younger brother of Saigo Takamori himself (great military leader) – Saigo Tsugumiti , who headed the Japanese fleet.
Thanks to his efforts, the Japanese fleet became a separate force and received an equal position along with the army. He was the man who fought the “favoritism” when the preference was given to the people of his native province of Satsuma (the samurai of Satsuma and Choμshuμ were those who overthrew the shogun).
And he also carried out many reforms, thanks to which, the fleet of the country, created just some 30 years ago and recently vegetating in the shogunate feudalism, was able to defeat the fleet of the Russian Empire, one of the leading empires of that time.
Yamamoto’s efforts were noticed. He received the title of “Count” and became an aristocrat (“kadzoku”) . The reputation of the creator of the fleet and the fighter with favoritism, allowed the former minister of the fleet to become prime minister. It would seem, work for yourself and do not know ill. But then suddenly there was a scandal .
Some naval officers behind Yamamoto Gombay received kickbacks of 15% from Siemens for contracts and had a monopoly on supplies. Also on the market, the British “Vickers” operated with a more than welcome 25% kickback. When the bosses from Germany found out about this, they asked for an explanation by telegram.
This was learned by the employee of “Siemens” – “Karl Richter” (Karl Richter), who sold “secret materials” to Reuters and thus “surrendered all with giblets.” And then sailed back to Germany, realizing what porridge he had brewed.
Japanese newspapers began to write about kickbacks and then turned. The people learned that the “noble fleet” of His Majesty receives bribes and began to grumble. Parliament initiated an investigation that revealed all the facts written in the newspapers. The officers were subsequently arrested and punished.
At the beginning of February 1914, demonstrations took place in Tokyo, which was worse than the current pension schemes. The people even more worried when they found out that due to a shortage in the budget it was planned to raise taxes. Although Yamamoto Gombay freed the officers from the purchases, but this did not help with the “popular anger”.
As a result, the “war hero” and the “father of the fleet,” who was not involved in the scandal, resigned with his cabinet. In Japan, the boss is always responsible and this case was no exception.
He was demoted in rank, and in Japan the prestige of the “army and navy” fell. The company “Siemens” was suspended from the contracts, as well as “Vickers”. But the latter were able to return to the market. And the hero of the story – Karl Richter (Karl Richter) in Germany was imprisoned.
The Greek scandal is Siemens.
This scandal broke out on August 27, 2008, when details of cooperation between the Greek government headed by Kostas Simitis and Siemens company flared up in preparation for the Summer Olympic Games in Athens.
Siemens bribed officials to obtain government contracts for the implementation of works related to the transfer of the OTE digital telephone network to digital format, the creation of communication systems, and the provision of surveillance systems for the 2004 Olympics.
Later, the investigators found out that many people of the ruling New Democracy and PASOK parties had been taking bribes since the 90s. This scandal led to the fact that in the subsequent elections the monopoly of the two oldest parties in the elections came to naught, and also led to an increase in the influence of new parties.
German concern paid 170 million euros to Greece and pledged to invest 100 million euros in the economy of Greece. The case was seriously delayed, and the Greek court can not, in particular, summon the former head of Siemens in Greece, Michael Christoforakos, which Germany does not extradite.
At the moment, only Thassos Mantelis, who was Minister of Transport and Communications in 1998, was convicted and who calls bribes “Siemens” only “donations”. He received a conditional eight years.