High pitched political clash over Novartis case in Parliament

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 21:31
UPD:21:35
REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN

 

 

Political acrimony on Wednesday reached an even higher pitch than usual in Greece during a Parliament debate on the establishment of a committee of inquiry to investigate a transferred indictment on the Novartis case, with deputies of the government coalition claiming that the issue involves a major scandal of the "ancient regime" in the country.

In response, opposition deputies - including most of the lawmakers implicated in the case by three "protected witnesses" - charged that a conspiracy is underway to sully the reputation of political opponents, and at the same time to distract public opinion from the economy and their pocketbook.

"I didn't come here to respond to vile slander; I did not come here to offer excuses. I came here to condemn this conspiracy," former prime minister Antonis Samaras said from Parliament's podium.

Earlier, former health minister Adonis Georgiadis charged that leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was behind the conspiracy that has been set up with the Novartis case.

Current Bank of Greece (BoG) Gov. Yannis Stournaras also referred to despicable slander against him and his wife, while demanding that his alleged involvement be investigated and prosecuted in full, in order to quash every shade of slander.

Another top main New Democracy (ND) deputy, former minister Makis Voridis, also called for deputies to decide on whether current Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis will be investigated. "Mr. Kouroumblis is implicated, why aren't 11 ballot boxes set up," he said, referring to a current minister that served as a former health minister in a previous government.

On their part, government ministers deflected shrill criticism over the case and the way the indictment made its way to Parliament.

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