New Democracy confirmed on Tuesday that it will support the government’s proposal for a parliamentary inquiry into the Novartis bribery allegations, but maintains that they are a product of the coalition’s interference in the judicial system.
“New Democracy says ‘yes’ to the launch of a preliminary inquiry to investigate the Novartis case,” said Maria Spyraki, a spokeswoman for the conservative party.
“It is clear that all [Prime Minister] Alexis Tsipras wants to do is blacken the name of his political opponents. That is why he and his ministers intervene in the justice system.”
Spyraki argued that the proposal submitted by the government does not identify any specific offenses by the 10 politicians identified by the three protected witnesses who gave evidence to anti-corruption prosecutors.
The center-right party is expected to also demand the formation of an investigative committee in Parliament to look into the corruption allegations against Defense Minister Panos Kammenos regarding a failed deal to sell arms to Saudi Arabia.
Speaking from Evia, conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Tsipras of trying to “sink the country into a mire of scandalmongering” and argued that the parliamentary inquiry would give his party a chance to respond to recent accusations.
MPs are set to vote next Friday on whether the inquiry should go ahead. There will be 10 separate ballot boxes for each of the politicians – two ex-prime ministers and eight former ministers – who have been implicated in the affair.