Another SYRIZA official says Saudi weapons deal not a good idea

Another SYRIZA official says Saudi weapons deal not a good idea

Interior Minister Panos Skourletis says that the decision to sell missiles and bombs to Saudi Arabia was not a good idea as they may be used in Yemen, echoing sentiments expressed by other lawmakers of the ruling party.

Speaking on state-run ERT TV on Thursday night, Skourletis, said that “obviously, every country has the right to make use of its surplus weaponry, but we should have been much more cautious about such moves as a country with the size of Greece cannot be selling weaponry and be indifferent to how it will be used," he said.

His comments followed the call by former Education Minister Nikos Filis on Thursday for the deal to be scrapped. Filis was backed by SYRIZA lawmaker Nikos Xydakis as well as Giorgos Kyritsis in a Facebook post. 

Skourletis also said that it was “problematic" that socialist lawmaker Andreas Loverdos appears to have leaked documents pertaining to the deal in his possession. And he accused of him of trying to distribute them in Parliament as “if they were flyers.”

The controversy surrounding the arms agreement with Saudi Arabia took on a new twist on Thursday after Defense Minister Panos Kammenos tweeted that he plans to allow lawmakers access to classified documents pertaining to the deal and to declassify other related documents. The agreement has been dogged by controversy over whether Kammenos had conducted the deal in a transparent manner.

The SYRIZA-led coalition had come under fire this week after Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis refused to grant lawmakers access to the leaked documents.

The government says that all questions about the deal will be satisfactorily answered during Monday’s parliamentary debate over its transparency and the role played by Kammenos.

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