NEWS

Political uproar over controversial Parliament transfers; Speaker defends actions

Political uproar over controversial Parliament transfers; Speaker defends actions

As the uproar over the pre-election transfer of civil servants who were relatives of several SYRIZA officials to Parliament continued on Friday, House Speaker Nikos Voutsis defended the move, saying he had “no feeling of guilt.”

Speaking in Parliament Friday ahead of a vote on an amendment to overturn a scheduled lowering of the tax-free threshold for income, Voutsis said the transfers, which were based on a regulation that was published in February this year, were in line with a pre-existing mobility scheme. Voutsis said he had no knowledge of who had been inducted into the scheme.

Reports Thursday said the transfers would have benefited, among others, Voutsis’ former wife, the daughter of Deputy Speaker Tasia Christodoulopoulou and a former aide to Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis.

Earlier Friday, Christodoulopoulou reacted to the criticism saying she will not stand in next month’s general election. In a statement she said that her “honesty had not been appreciated.”

In the wake of the outcry, the government announced a freeze on half the transfers later Thursday.