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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-06

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK proposal rejected

  • [01] PASOK proposal rejected

    The Greek Parliament rejected in the early hours of Thursday a proposal by main opposition PASOK party for the creation of a parliamentary invastigating committee to probe the Siemens affair, following a debate. Out of the 300-member House 151 deputies - of the ruling New Democracy party - voted against, and 148 - of the three opposition parties- voted for the proposal. 299 deputies participated in the vote.

    PASOK party Deputy Telemahos Hytiris, speaking in Parliament on Wednesday at the beginning of the debate on the proposal tabled by PASOK leader George Papandreou on the Siemens case, stressed that "the Factfinding Committee for Siemens is an immediate national duty and must be voted for and convene now."

    Hytiris, referring to the government, said "if you are not interested in the country and its future which requires a new course, then, at least, don't close Parliament in June so that the offences perpetrated by anyone cannot be written off" and added that "we are not afraid of any probe, any result, whatever it may be. Those responsible must pay, wherever they belong."

    The government's rapporteur, Antonis Karamarios, termed PASOK's proposal "absolutely groundless" and called on the House to vote against it. He said that such a discussion can take place when Justice, that has taken the case in its hands, completes its obligations.

    "If Justice comes across the provisions of article 86 of the Constitution, then you can be sure that it will be compulsory for the file to be forwarded to Parliament," Karamarios noted and added that "only Parliament is responsible for launching prosecution against those being or having been members of the government or deputy ministers for offences they perpetrated during the exercising of their duties" and that "even if there is a writeoff, then Justice will find the truth and it will attribute responsibilities against whatever politicians and, certainly, the people will condemn them."

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) rapporteur, Achilleas Kantartzis, expressed support for Parliament establishing a committee and spoke of longlasting responsibilities of both the ruling New Democracy (ND) and main opposition PASOK parties.

    "We are not flying in the clouds and we have no illusions that it will not be used to cover up responsibilities. However, we want a probe in every way," he said, adding that with the government's responsibility the proposal will be rejected and stressed that "its argument that it will not obstruct the work of justice convinces no one" and that the same was also the case during the governments of PASOK when similar proposals were tabled by ND, when in the opposition, and the majority used to reject them and attributed expediency to both parties.

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) rapporteur Theodoros Dritsas also supported the creation of a Factfinding Committee and spoke of "a scandal of the past decades that is accompanied by an even bigger one, a coverup."

    Dritsas further said that "all this game that has been played in our country over the past decades is of bad taste and it is undemocratic," stressing that both the New Democracy and PASOK parties are moving along this bipolarisation of scandal mongering and covering up and behaving according to whether they are in power or in the opposition and that "it has been ascertained that Siemens financed political parties both in Greece and internationally. We can say that in our party there is no person involved. This is our big difference."

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party rapporteur Makis Voridis said that "what we are interested in and is also of interest to the Greek people is if there are possible responsibilities and due to the writeoff they cannot be examined afterwards" and added that "all should come to light, all should come to Justice, all to their natural judge until the reliability of the political world is fully restored."

    Voridis wondered what kind of an obstacle would be raised by the Factfinding Committee to the flow of the penal procedure and that the non-acceptance of the demand by the government would be "suicidal and self-destructive," while assessing that the Siemens case primarily concerns PASOK and this is an extra reason for the government to say "yes to the probe."

    CAPTION: Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos addressing Parliament on Wednesday night. (Photo ANA-MPA)

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