Athens, April 1, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The Inquiry Commission motion for a recommendation to investigate the legality of lending political parties and the propertied media companies from the banking institutions of the country, filed the parliamentary groups of SYRIZA and ANEL, as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had announced in the debate of political leaders on Justice.
The MPs of the coalition parties, proposed the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry, in accordance with Articles 68 paragraph 2 of the Constitution and 144 of the Rules of the House to investigate the specific issue of public interest on loans to political parties and Media companies and in particular:
– The contents of loan contracts, its amount, the terms and purpose of lending or refinancing of older loans.
– Assessing the creditworthiness of borrowers in connection with the credit regulations of credit institutions.
– The collaterals and other guarantees for such loans.
– The current level of these loans, as well as their current servicing process.
And what’s more, in the absence of the servicing of the loans, any complaints of the loan agreements, and any judicial enforcement action and a search of possible criminal responsibilities against those who received loans and those who granted them.
As the MPs emphasize in their motion, “for the past six years the country is in a whirlwind of imposed austerity measures through the implemented austerity programs and fiscal adjustment of the memoranda signed by the previous governments of PASOK and New Democracy, which had as a result, inter alia, the loss of 25% of GDP, the skyrocketing of unemployment, particularly among young people, the devastation of labour rights, the dismantling of the welfare state and eventually to undermine the life and dignity of the social majority.
They point out that one of the reasons why the Greek economy was in the throes of crisis and austerity was the irrational operation and overall management of the Greek banking system, and specifically, the for years uncritical borrowing.
The Parliamentary Groups of Syriza and ANEL also stressed that while the economy was collapsing and the banking system shaken, political parties continued to lend funds with non-existent or speculative collateral of their future government grants, which are notoriously dependent on their future polling rates.
They also invoke publications, “that were not proven wrong even during the latest before the daily agenda discussion in the House”, that the debts of ND seem to reach today the amount of EUR 210 mln, of which 197 mln from loans secured with the promise of future State funding, and say that the same applies to loans obtained by PASOK, which according to estimates in 2013 reached EUR 111 mln.
At the same time – they add – equally dubious guaranteeing bank loans were also granted to media companies. “Despite the crisis, loans with mismatched collateral amounts, with very low rates, with property liens of dubious merchantability, continued to be granted”.
“Thus, the banks ‘fed’ the Media and political parties with loans, the parties supported the banks providing various services and the media took care and still take care to support the power system that feeds them”, is highlighted in the proposal and in conclusion it is stated that it is therefore imperative to thoroughly investigate the loan contracts granted between banks and political parties, but also with the media, especially the television Channels, “because the Greek people is waiting for concrete answers and is waiting to learn who is responsible for the vicious circle”.
According to the Statute of the House, after the motion has been signed by all the MPs of the coalition parties (ie the average of the 60 signatory is fulfilled, ie 1/5 of the total number of MPs) it becomes mandatory by the presidency of the Parliament to be announced in plenary, printed, distributed to all MPs and registered by a decision taken on the planning of the Conference of Presidents in the plenary agenda.
It is noted that the House of Parliament may recommend committees of inquiry from MPs to discuss specific issues of public interest.
The decision of the plenary on the recommendation of the Selection Committee shall be taken by an absolute majority of those present, which may not be less than two-fifths (2/5) of the total number of MPs (ie a majority of 120 MPs). The vote is open.
After completion of the investigation, the Commission assesses the evidence collected and draws a justified conclusion, in which are also recorded the opinions of the minority.
At the suggestion of one fifth (1/5) of all MPs, the findings of the Commission of Inquiry is included on the agenda for discussion, which is conducted by an analogous application of the provisions of Article 137.