MPs decide procedure for crucial evening ballot on Lagarde list inquiry

After a tense session Thursday, Greek lawmakers agreed to hold a single vote with MPs deciding which of four politicians should face a parliamentary inquiry over the Lagarde list scandal.

The idea, put forward by PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, marked a departure from earlier plans to hold three successive votes - one for each of the proposals by the coalition, leftist SYRIZA, and the Independent Greeks together with ultra-right Golden Dawn.

The coalition had proposed that only former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou be probed in connection with the handling of the Lagarde list following the revelation by prosecutors last month that the names of three of his relatives were removed from the list of Greeks who had savings in the Geneva branch of HSBC.

SYRIZA want Papaconstantinou’s successor Evangelos Venizelos, who leads socialist PASOK, to be investigated along with Papaconstantinou. The two smaller opposition parties have demanded former premiers George Papandreou and Lucas Papademos to be probed too.

A total of four ballots will be used in the process agreed Thursday, allowing MPs to vote for each of the politicians identified in the parties' proposals.

A total of 151 votes are needed for each of the politicians to be summoned for a preliminary judicial inquiry that will decide if there are grounds to indict the accused.