Parliament panel to convene on party regulations


A parliamentary committee was to convene at 2 p.m. on Monday to discuss planned changes to House regulations that would allow the junior partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) to keep its parliamentary group.

In comments ahead of the session, House Speaker Nikos Voutsis insisted that the aim was to boost parties, not to change the regulations.

Kathimerini understands that the government has two aims: appeasing ANEL leader Panos Kammenos and securing its majority in Parliament to the greatest possible extent.

The government is angling for a solution that would ensure Kammenos does not lose the right of a party leader to address Parliament, for fear that he would scale up attacks against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Another regulation the administration is keen to amend is the one dictating that the minimum of five MPs in any parliamentary group must all have entered Parliament with the party in question.

This would secure the position of ANEL MP — Aristeidis Fokas — entered Parliament with the Union of Centrists before moving to ANEL.

In view of Thanasis Papachristopoulos's planned departure resignation from the party, securing Fokas's position would be vital to ensuring ANEL keeps its parliamentary group in Parliament.

Such a change could also help Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis save his crumbling parliamentary group with the support of independent MPs.

Conservative New Democracy have suggested that Voutsis is essentially mediating between the two former junior coalition partners and has not ruled out the possibility of bringing a censure motion against the parliamentary speaker for violating his role.