Maria Karystianou, President of the “TEMPE 28-2-2023” victims’ families association, emphasised that at least 1.5 million citizens support the call for amending the law on ministerial responsibility and revising Article 86 of the Constitution.

Speakers at the conference included Mrs. Karystianou, Dimitris Vervesos, President of the Plenary of the Presidents of the Bar Associations of Greece, former Vice President of the Council of State Maria Karamanof, and Nikos Papaspyrou, Deputy Professor of Constitutional Law at the Athens School of Law. Theodoros Mantas, Vice President of the Athens Bar Association coordinated the session.

Vervesos announced that the Plenary Session of the Bar Associations would lead the initiative to propose changes to the law on ministerial responsibility. The committee, comprising Dimitris Vervesos, Maria Karamanof, and Nikos Papaspyrou, will spearhead this effort.

Karystianou began her speech with strong criticism of the Prime Minister, accusing him of indifference and impunity. “Hiding behind immunity, you don’t even mention the tragedy, hoping that Greeks will forget and be discouraged. But we don’t forget,” she asserted.

She called for an end to ministerial impunity and corruption, pointing out that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was absent from the event and the parliamentary session on significant national issues. “Your name was mentioned in a criminal act for which you should be the first to seek clarification. Hiding behind immunity, you avoid addressing the tragedy,” she stated.

Karystianou also criticised the President of the Republic for not attending the event, highlighting her failure to assume the responsibilities of her office.

Vervesos echoed these sentiments, stating, “Any impunity and immunity of the powerful constitutes a second crime comparable to the one committed at Tempe.” He emphasised the collective demand for accountability and the need for legislative reform to address the citizens’ concerns.

Karamanof underscored the critical nature of the proposed revision for the rule of law in Greece. She highlighted the public’s anxiety about the state of the rule of law, exacerbated by the tragic loss of 57 lives in the Tempe disaster. “The relatives of the victims have been seeking answers to fundamental questions about the causes and aftermath of the crash,” she said.

Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law Nikolaos Alivizatos and legal advisor Eleonora Georgiou also spoke at the event. They, along with Karamanof and Professors Panos Lazaratos and Nikos Papaspyrou, will participate in a Legal Processing Group to develop a specific legislative proposal to be submitted to the Speaker of the House and parliamentary parties.

MPs from various parties, including SYRIZA, PASOK-KINAL, Communist Party of Greece, Greek Solution, Niki, Course of Freedom and New Left attended the press conference and presented their respective party’s stance on the matter.


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