The speaker of the Greek parliament, Vangelis Meimarakis (New Democracy, conservative) has stepped down and asked to be 'temporarily replaced' during an investigation of money laundering claims in which he is implicated. The affair, revealed by Greek daily Real News, involves over 10 billion euros. It concerns about 30 political leaders and high-level civil servants, including seven former ministers from both the conservative ND and the socialist Pasok. All have denied the accusations. The Supreme Court and the police financial unit must determine if bribe money was used in numerous real estate deals between 2005 and 2008.

The case "is embarrassing to the Villa Maximos," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' (ND) official residence, notes Athens daily To Vima

... a few days before tying up a tough and painful [budget] package of 11.8 billion euros in savings, this is a serious threat to the stability of the ruling coalition, confronted by an affair that is causing a political earthquake capable of overturning the tectonic plates of the political system. [...] Several members of the government have suggested that this affair fuels a climate that undermines the legitimacy of the political system.