NEWS

New inquiry into land swap

A parliamentary committee will begin reinvestigating on February 1 the controversial property exchange between the state and the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, the House decided yesterday. All 300 MPs voted in favor of setting up an investigative panel to look into the swap, which is alleged to have cost Greek taxpayers more than 100 million euros. The committee will be made up of 19 deputies, with all five parties represented according to their share of parliamentary seats. It will have to wrap up its investigation by March 15. New Democracy MP Christos Markoyiannakis said his party was voting in favor of a fresh inquiry to avoid giving the impression that it had something to hide. But he said the committee had little hope of discovering anything new. A previous probe into the exchange of prime public real estate for less valuable property belonging to the Mount Athos monastery failed to result in charges being brought.