A majority of members on a Parliamentary committee of inquiry, as expected, on Monday attributed “political responsibility” to previous health ministers’ handling of the case involving the bankrupt Henry Dunant Hospital in Athens – the one-time flagship facility of the Hellenic Red Cross in the country.
The majority of committee members all hailed from the two parties comprising the current leftist-rightist coalition, radical left SYRIZA and its small right-wing coalition partner, the Independent Greeks’ (AN.EL) party.
The report by the majority – which was roundly vilified by the political opposition – calls for a “further investigation” by judicial authorities into possible wrongdoing or omissions on the part of former ministers Andreas Loverdos and Adonis Georgiadis, both among the most prominent critics of the current Tsipras government.
Another two former health ministers, current EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Makis Voridis, were also cited in the report, which essentially charges that ministers, politicians, and business interests colluded with former Red Cross president Andreas Martinis - himself facing trial - to cover-up mismanagement and its eventual bankruptcy and tender for privatization.
The latest Parliament probe, commenced by the coalition-backing MPs, comes amid standing and high-pitched criticism that the poll-trailing Tsipras government is engaging in mudslinging ahead of next year’s general election in order to regain popularity and malign its main political rivals.
A previous probe into what the government and pro-government press called “Novartis-gate” was returned to an anti-corruption prosecutor by another Parliament committee.