The session, which commenced shortly after 9:00 am, is set to extend into the early morning hours, with 175 MPs registered to speak. The Communist Party (KKE) has declared its support for the motion, citing the government’s culpability in the Tempe incident and broader policies detrimental to worker and civil rights. Dimitris Koutsoumbas, the KKE General Secretary, will address the motion today, March 27, because of a scheduled visit to Cyprus,

Highlights from the first day of debate

The initial day of discussions concluded at 3:30 am, marked by sharp critiques from Nikos Androulakis. He lambasted the government’s focus on “communication management” and “small party interest” during a period of national mourning, prompting questions about premature access to the tampered materials. In response, Minister of State Makis Voridis defended the government, dismissing the opposition’s accusations as motivated by “interests.”

PASOK spokesperson Milena Apostolaki criticised the government’s ties to business interests and noted the Prime Minister’s protective stance towards the former Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Mr. Karamanlis as causing visible divisions within the ruling majority. She declared the government had “morally lost all political legitimacy,” anticipating its political condemnation in the upcoming elections.

Syriza MP Nikos Pappas criticised the government for not expressing remorse or apologising for the Tempe incident, raising doubts about the Prime Minister’s awareness of the tampered audio recordings. He further questioned the New Democracy party’s ability to conduct fair elections free from data interference or manipulation, drawing parallels to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Pappas called for the government to step down to restore public trust.

Zoe Konstantopoulou pointed out, “The cover-up stems from the Prime Minister’s immediate involvement, manipulating the narrative that was relayed to the media.”

In the no-confidence motion debate, State Minister Makis Voridis questioned the timing of Mr. Androulakis’s motion, pointing out, “What triggered the motion on Sunday?” He dismissed the relevance of the article that he claimed “recycled previously resolved matters from a year ago”. Voridis notably avoided discussing the government’s actions regarding the alleged manipulation of audio recordings after the Tempe incident.

Euclid Tsakalotos from the New Left scrutinised the government’s haste in blaming the station master, raising concerns about the transparency and rationale behind this decision. He pointed out the contrast between the government’s past confidence, supported by a 41% vote share in the national elections, and the prevailing public perception of mismanagement in the issue. Tsakalotos cautioned, referencing Watergate, that hiding the truth only results in more severe consequences.

Thanasis Pafilis from the KKE pointed to the government’s compliance with detrimental EU policies as the root cause of the Tempe tragedy, criticising the prioritisation of profit at the expense of public safety. He argued that the incident is indicative of a larger problem; crucial public services, including health and education, are compromised for financial gain. Pafilis highlighted the far-reaching consequences of these policies, affecting more than just the railway sector.


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