The heated Parliamentary debate that ended in a vote to investigate former finance minister George Papaconstantinou over the removal of three of his relatives names from a list of Greeks with secret Swiss bank accounts is still going on.
Panos Skourletis, the spokesman for the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party called PASOK Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos a “big liar” after Venizelos made snide remarks about the SYRIZA mouthpiece during contentious confrontations on the floor of the Parliament.
SYRIZA failed in its bid to make Venizelos face a parliamentary committee over his handling of the list containing the names of 2,062 Greeks with $1.95 billion in accounts at the Geneva branch of HSBC.
Only 124 lawmakers voted for Venizelos to face an inquiry, as opposed to 265 MPs who voted for Papaconstantinou to appear before the committee. The debate was marked by bitter ripostes between Venizelos and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, whom he accused of being a “professional slanderer”.
Venizelos also accused Skourletis of having briefed journalist that the list contained the names of some of Venizelos’s relatives. “He’s a big liar,” Skourletis told Skai radio. “He has made these accusations before and I have asked him to give names and dates. But he hasn’t, which proves that he is lying.”
Venizelos also accused SYRIZA of leaking the content of the list to journalist Costas Vaxevanis, who he accused of being the party’s “publisher of choice.” Tsipras said SYRIZA supported Vaxevanis after he published the list, along with other organizations and much of public opinion.
Earlier, Skourletis drew the wrath of Giorgos Mouroutis, a spokesman for the New Democracy Conservative party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which has accused SYRIZA of fueling political violence. Skourletis had said that Samaras had some “far-right aides,” and mentioned the names of ND, Failos Kranidiotis and Chrysanthos Lazaridis. Mouroutis tweeted that, “When Chrysanthos was thrown into prison by the junta, Skourletis was hiding behind his mother’s skirts.”