Government under fire over ‘amendment tsunami’

Government under fire over ‘amendment tsunami’

Main opposition New Democracy lawmakers walked out of a parliamentary debate Friday in protest at what conservatives described as a “tsunami” of last-minute amendments to a bill submitted by the Finance Ministry.

The walkout came as critics have lashed out at the government for its tactic of submitting amendments that have nothing to do with the actual bills being tabled, and thus compromising the integrity of Parliament processes.

ND’s parliamentary spokesman Ioannis Kefalogiannis accused the SYRIZA-led government of disrespecting the Parliament’s legislative process.

“We have to safeguard the integrity of the institution,” he said, referring to 22 amendments – 16 of which were submitted in just one day.

The Greek Communist Party (KKE) and the centrist To Potami party also withdrew their MPs from the debate for the same reason on Thursday.

For their part, coalition lawmakers dismissed opposition criticism, saying that the government’s actions are driven by the desire to tackle the country’s problems and not some “weird obsession” with submitting lots of amendments.

“We are obliged to solve the problems of the Greek people,” said Deputy Finance Minister Ekaterini Papanatsiou, who added that more amendments to bills by the Education, Health and Digital Policy ministries are to follow this week.

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