Conservatives to back government proposal for inquiry into bank loans

Conservatives to back government proposal for inquiry into bank loans

New Democracy said Thursday that it will back the government’s proposal for an investigation into the granting of large bank loans to indebted political parties and media groups – despite the SYRIZA-led coalition’s rejection of a similar call made by conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for a House committee to probe its handling of the economy last year.

“New Democracy has, through the years, backed transparency in public life,” New Democracy spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said Thursday and scolded the government’s rejection of the conservative party’s inquiry proposal.

“If the government does not want an inquiry into this dark period, it will expose itself to the Greek people.”

New Democracy’s decision came despite conservative officials deriding the government’s proposal as an attempt to shift the public spotlight away from the refugee crisis and the ongoing negotiations with the country’s international creditors.

Koumoutsakos said ND’s decision was dictated by “principle,” even though the party could not have stopped the proposal from passing in Parliament as coalition partners SYRIZA and Independent Greeks enjoy a majority.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Alexis Tispras had rejected Mitsotakis’s call for a probe into what led to last year’s imposition of capital controls, the threat of a Grexit and the signing of a third bailout.

Opposition officials told Kathimerini Thursday that the conservative leader made the call – despite knowing it would be dismissed by the government – with two objectives in mind: to put the government on the defensive and to “build” a narrative that a probe into the government’s handling of the economy will eventually be conducted, even if that means elections.

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