Lawmakers of SYRIZA opposition have walked out of a parliamentary debate on lifting the immunity of former alternate health minister Pavlos Polakis from prosecution.
The decision was announced by the leftist party’s parliamentary spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos after the ex minister had completed a 30-minute speech during which he criticized the health policies of previous administrations.
Polakis also accused the conservative government of aiming to stifle criticism from the opposition, denouncing the process as a “clear act of political persecution” and “immoral act of revanchism.”
Lifting Polakis’ immunity will pave the way for a judicial inquiry into accusations made by Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras that he recorded a private telephone conversation between the pair without his consent, as well as a charge of slander made by the head of the workers’ union of Greece’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), Stamatis Poulis.
Parliament’s ethics committee has already recommended lifting the ex minister's immunity. A vote by the plenary is expected later in the day.