Greek parliament discusses memorandum probe

Greek parliament discusses memorandum probe

Athens, April 7, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Zacharias Petrou

Parliament discussed a proposal to create a committee that will examine how Greece came to signing bailout agreements with its international lenders tracing the reasons back to the route of the country’s financial crisis. The proposal for the committee was put forward by the parliamentary groups of coalition partners SYRIZA and Independent Greeks.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras defended the probe and said it was needed in order to “shed light on the shadows of the last five years” and “give people the answers they deserve” as to whether individuals should be held to account.

The PM accused the previous government, of “sitting in the corner, waiting for the [current] government to fail (…) Half the time you accuse us of driving the country towards destruction, the other half you accuse us of signing up to memorandums.”

Alexis Tsipras added that lenders and EU partners cannot be allowed to toy with Greece.

In turn, main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said the government is leading the country to an exit from the Eurozone and an inquiry would surely be launched should developments come to that.

“Set up as many investigative committees as you like, none will touch us (…) You’re setting up charges for those who saved Greece. Brace yourselves for charges against the current government” the former premier said.

New Democracy submitted its own proposal for a parliamentary committee to probe the source of Greece’s huge debt burden, starting in 1981.

The government has been criticized by opposition parties for not going far enough back in time in this probe as well as not including the present government that has signed an extension of Greece’s bailout. PASOK chief and former Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos called for the inquiry to include the period between 2004 and 2009 when Costas Karamanlis was PM.