Voutsis says House panel to boost role of parties, not change regulations


Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis has played down a planned session of a House committee on Monday expected to discuss planned changes to House regulations that would allow the junior partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) to keep its parliamentary group.

IN comments to Athens 9.84FM on Sunday, Voutsis said the panel would discuss boosting the role of parties, not change to the composition of parliamentary groups.

"That would not constitute a change to the regulations," he said.

As for his request to ANEL MP Thanasis Papachristopoulos last week to postpone his planned resignation, Voutsis said it was done to allow a vote on the NATO accession protocol of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to be completed.

As for suggestions by conservative New Democracy that he is being blackmailed by the junior coalition partner, Voutsis referred to lies and threats that undermine that undermine the system of government.

Regarding the possibility of ND lodging a censure motion against him over his intervention with Papachristopoulos, Voutsis remarked that the opposition party was entitled to do whatever it liked. 

In comments in Lamia, central Greece, on Sunday, ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis hit out at Voutsis, accusing him trying to "patch up a ragbag government" rather than fulfilling his duties.

He also condemned the leftist administration as "a minority government which is borrowing MPs for each piece of legislation, seeking loans and crutches to stay in power for a few more weeks."