NEWS

SYRIZA divided over MPs’ mooted amendments

GIORGOS BOURDARAS, ARISTOTELIA PELONI

TAGS: Politics

A last-minute brake by the government on a flurry of amendments that leftist MPs have sought to bring to Parliament this week, before the anticipated closure of the House next week ahead of snap polls in July, has fueled upheaval within SYRIZA’s ranks.

During comments in Parliament Wednesday, Alternate Environment Minister Sokratis Famellos revealed that the cabinet had decided to bar MPs’ proposed amendments.

His revelation provoked protests by several lawmakers, such as Makis Balaouras, who condemned the intervention as “absurd.”

Famellos explained that the cabinet had decided to block MPs’ proposed changes due to the potential political cost for SYRIZA ahead of snap polls. “Unfortunately, a section of the political opposition is leveling ill-intentioned criticism with the sole goal of influencing voters,” he said.

Opposition parties have said they will boycott Parliament in protest at the barrage of amendments, with conservative New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis Wednesday saying the House has effectively been “delegitimized” by the process.

Commenting on a call by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for Mitsotakis to back a government bill to abolish a planned reduction to the tax-free threshold, ND sources remarked that the PM had refused to back a bill that the center-right party had brought to the House foreseeing the same thing.

Among the amendments the government is bringing to the House this week are the recruitment of 10,500 school teachers and the extension of the contracts of temporary municipal sanitation employees.

Additionally, the leadership of the Greek Police is being accused by officers at all levels of seeking to transfer staff between departments ahead of snap polls, Kathimerini understands.

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