Opposition accuses gov’t of interfering in independent body


Parliament rejected Friday an objection from New Democracy to an amendment submitted to the House by the government concerning the rules governing senior positions at the Competition Commission.

The legislation decrees that the senior posts cannot be held by anyone whose spouse or first-degree relative is an MP or MEP. New Democracy claimed that the amendment is unconstitutional and that it was designed to force the organization’s vice president, Dimitris Loukas, out as he is married to conservative lawmaker Niki Kerameos.

The deputy pointed out that her husband was appointed to the post six years ago, before she became an MP and before they were married. She also challenged the government to apply the same rule to all independent watchdogs.

Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis denied the government is seeking to gain control of the Competition Commission, pointing out that the two candidates he recently nominated for the organization’s board were both approved by New Democracy and PASOK.