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Greek Parliament decides to refer 10 politicians to special committee over Novartis case

Among those to face the committee are a former Prime Minister of Greece and the current governor of the country’s central bank

After a marathon session that lasted for over 20 hours, the Greek parliamentary plenum decided at 5.40 in the morning of Thursday to refer 10 political persons, who were allegedly involved in the Novartis scandal to a special committee for further investigation. The debate took place in a heated atmosphere with the accused persons blasting the government for adopting a political witch-hunt and targeting them for purely political reasons. The climate was particularly polarised and gave an indication of what could ensue in the volatile Greek political landscape after the MPs decided in a secret ballot that the actions of the 10 accused persons charged with allegedly receiving bribes from pharmaceutical company Novartis would warrant a deeper investigation. More specifically, the following persons will stand before a preliminary investigation committee:
– The referral of European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos (ND). 188 MPs voted in favor of his referral with 4 abstentions out of a total of 218 ballots that were found in the ballot box.

– The referral of Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK). 217 ballots were found, of which 185 voted for his referral, and 6 abstentions.

– The referral of ND vice-President Adonis Georgiadis (ND) with 186 deputies voting for his examination and 6 abstentions.

– The referral George Koutroumanis (PASOK) with 180 MPs in favour, 1 against and 11 abstentions.

– The referral of Andreas Loverdos (PASOK) with 186 for and 4 abstentions.

– The referral of Andreas Lykourentzos (ND) with180 for, 2 against and 8 abstentions.

– The referral of Panayiotis Pikrammenos (ex-PM) with 170 voting for, and abstentions 12.

– The referral of Marios Salmas (ND) with 159 MPs voting yes, against 17 and abstentions 16.

– The referral of Antonis Samaras (former-PM, ND) with 182 MPs voting in favour, 3 against and 6 abstentions

– The referral of Yannis Stournaras (Governor of the Bank of Greece), with 182 deputies in favour, 2 against and 6 abstentions.
In the coming days, the parliamentary staff will determine the 21 members who will comprise the committee, which has one month to complete its work but will most likely request for an extension. SYRIZA will be represented by ten MPs, New Democracy by five and the remaining parties will one representative each.