Constantopoulou comes under fire in tense session

A session of Parliament’s committee for public organizations on Friday was marred by tense exchanges, with House Speaker Zoe Constantopoulou coming under fire from several opposition party MPs after a string of critical statements.

The most vehement exchanges were between Constantopoulou and Communist Party MP Nikos Karathanassopoulos, who called her “a common slanderer” after she cast aspersions about his role in politics. Earlier the KKE MP slammed the Debt Truth Committee, an initiative of Constantopoulou, calling it a “caricature.” Constantopoulou called Karathanassopoulos “rude” and lashed out at several other MPs in attendance, including Spyros Lykoudis of centrist Potami who did not answer her back.

Constantopoulou’s predecessor Vangelis Meimarakis, a New Democracy MP, also hit out at Constantopoulou, ridiculing her over her insistence that Bank of Governor Yannis Stournaras should immediately face parliamentary committees in connection with the content of a recent monetary policy report and with the Siemens cash-for-contracts scandal. Stournaras has said he cannot visit Parliament before July 6 as the European Central Bank is convening daily by teleconference to consult on the state of Greece’s banks. “You should bring him bound and gagged and the Parliament guard should give him a whipping out back,” Meimarakis remarked.