Prime Minister criticizes opposition to Greco-French defense agreement

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis criticized the country’s left-wing opposition for refusing to support a defense agreement with France.

After passing through the parliamentary committee stage, the agreement was to be ratified on Thursday by the entire parliament following a debate between party leaders.

Ratification of the agreement is guaranteed and has already been backed by parties – the ruling conservative New Democracy, the center-left coalition Movement for Change (KINAL) and the nationalist Greek Resolution – giving the prime minister 179 out of 300 votes.

Independent MP Konstantinos Bogdanos, whom Mitsotakis expelled from the New Democracy parliamentary group on Tuesday after making several harsh anti-communist statements in addition to other recent omissions, said in a TV interview Wednesday that he can be expected to continue voting with the government. though he defended his claims. State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis noted that despite the racist (and anti-communist statements are not a problem for ND – editor’s note) statements, Bogdanos remained a party member and left the door open for a possible return to the parliamentary group, depending on political events.

Obviously, the ruling party does not want the far-right MP to switch to another party to the right of the New Democracy, or even create his own, especially since the simple proportional representation system under which the next elections will be held favors small parties.

All left-wing parties – the main opposition SYRIZA, the Greek Communist Party and MeRA25 – oppose the Franco-Greek agreement, but for different reasons.

“Unfortunately, guerrilla blinders prevent some from seeing where the country’s real interests lie,” Mitsotakis said during a lunch with his EU counterparts in Slovenia on Tuesday.

Mitsotakis defended the agreement, saying it would strengthen Greece’s geopolitical status while strengthening European efforts to create an autonomous defense pillar within the NATO alliance.

The official opposition objected to the procedure and demanded a roll-call vote with its parliamentary representative, Theodor Dritsa, asking not to limit the debate, as suggested by the Speaker of Parliament and the Conference of Presidents, the positions of parliamentarians in the speeches of the Prime Minister and politicians, as well as in a circle of 12 MPs in in accordance with the parliamentary proportion, but there must be at least a second circle of speakers, since this is a truly historic agreement, which also includes legislative work.

In support of the opposition to the opposition party, former speaker of parliament Nikos Voutsis recalled that in equally important agreements such as Prespa, the plenary discussion was held in three sessions, despite the fact that even then there were the positions of supporters. political leaders.

The Speaker of Parliament replied that a roll-call vote will be held on his own initiative, using the right provided for by the Rules of Procedure of Parliament, and also because the explanatory memorandum of the bill contains a reference to Article 27 of the Constitution, which requires voting by an absolute majority of all members, and therefore the vote must be conducted by a roll-call vote rather than by an assumed majority of parliamentary groups.

Regarding the objection to one circle of deputies after political leaders, Konstantinos Tassoulas stated that from the standpoint of political leaders, we would say that the position of each parliamentary force is expressed “in different ways” in relation to this truly historic Agreement.

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