Tensions in Parl’t as gov’t rejects opposition objections to decree

During a stormy session in Parliament on Friday, with vehement exchanges between coalition lawmakers and the opposition, the government rejected an objection by conservative New Democracy against a government decree that obliges state bodies and local authorities to transfer their cash reserves to the Bank of Greece.

ND’s objection, which asserted that the decree violated Greece’s Constitution, was rejected by all the other opposition parties. Speaking in Parliament, ND MP Makis Voridis invoked the articles of the Constitution citing the financial independence of local authorities and state universities.

Retorting, SYRIZA’s Nikos Filis remarked that even if that this is the case, the independence of those bodies is only being compromised temporarily and for the broader interests of the state.

Earlier tensions had peaked in the House with MPs coming close to physical altercation. Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis had fuelled anger when he accused opposition parties of representing the demands of the country’s creditors.