Vote on foster care provision exposes cracks in coalition

Vote on foster care provision exposes cracks in coalition

Same-sex couples will be allowed to foster children, according to a provision of a bill submitted by the Labor Ministry and passed during a plenary session in Parliament on Wednesday. 

The provision, which was approved with 161 votes for and 103 against in the 300-member House, stipulates that gay couples with a civil partnership agreement can become foster parents, but cannot adopt children. 

However, the issue highlighted cracks within both SYRIZA and the ruling coalition, as most lawmakers of the right-wing junior partner, Independent Greeks, voted against, as did two SYRIZA deputies. 

In his address, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras slammed the parties and politicians opposed to the provision as “ones that like to reproduce anachronistic stereotypes and phobia syndromes.” 

He went to decry those that “breed hatred for foreigners, people of other religions and those that are different.” 

He also took a swipe at New Democracy for rejecting the provision, describing its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis as “deeply conservative.” 

“On many occasions [Mitsotakis] has flirted with extreme-right populism,” Tsipras said, adding that the New Democracy chief stands in the government’s way when it comes to human rights issues. 

New Democracy responded later in the day with a statement saying that it will soon become clear during national elections “who the liberal and progressive one is and who is the obsessive and populist.” 

One ND lawmaker, Katerina Markou, went against the party line and voted in favor of the provision. 

The new legislation also speeds up the child adoption process, cutting red tape that prospective parents would have to navigate.

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