Party leaders clash over bid for Parl’t probe into memorandums

A debate in Parliament on creating a committee to determine the circumstances that led to Greece signing its loan programs on Monday gave party leaders another opportunity to clash on the root causes of the country’s crisis.

Addressing Parliament before a vote on the proposal, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the panel was necessary to “shed light on the shadows of the last five years” and “give people the answers they deserve” as to whether individuals should be held to account. Tsipras also called for a probe into the revision of the budget deficit in 2009. He accused New Democracy, which led the previous government, of “sitting in the corner, waiting for the government to fail.” “Half the time you accuse us of driving the country to the rocks, the other half you accuse us of signing up to memorandums.”

In his speech, ND leader Antonis Samaras said he did not object to a panel probing Greece’s accession to the memorandums but said it should be set up once the government has secured a deal with the country’s creditors.

Earlier, ND submitted its own proposal for a parliamentary committee to probe the source of Greece’s huge debt burden, starting in 1981. Samaras was dismissive of SYRIZA’s initiative. “Set up as many investigative committees as you like, none will touch us.” But he also suggested that the tables would be turned. “You’re setting up charges for those who saved Greece. Brace yourselves for charges against the current government.”

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