By the way, the mere facts, without my rage: That was a committee session, a preliminary vote on a new laws to see if it should go to the Floor for a final voting. For a parliamentary committee to hold a session needs a 40% of the members of the committee to be present. That's thirteen
MPs. There are only 3
present. The session wouldn't even be allowed to begin, let alone being considered valid.
Lur wrote:I was watching the video and it's actually kind of scary.
Two first times I watched I actually felt my neurons heading towards an aneurysm.
I can't explain how unacceptable this is. The laws, they might be good laws, but if you do the preliminary vote by giving the middle finger to the parliamentary procedures, screw them. I'd rather not have that law, but keep the Rule of Law and the representative nature of the republic.
I'm so happy not to be Greek.
You and me both. But some of my close acquaintances are Greek expats in Cyprus and they are terrified by what's going on back in Greece.
I'm speechless and nauseated. Amongst the other things, what strikes me is that (I suppose) he knew he was being recorded, but nonetheless this didn't stop him from brazenly doing such an unconstitutional thing. They're not even trying anymore to pretend to be democratic, it seems to me that the message he wanted to get across is: hey Greeks, you'd better drum into your heads that you no longer live in a democracy.
They've been doing it for a year now. First, it was even more blatant. They used executive orders to pass very mundane laws. The constitution says that executive orders is a legal tool to allow the executive branch to legislate (instead of the Parliament) in cases of widespread natural disaster or of a military invasion. What they did for some ~20 times? Declared "The need to reform organisation XYZ is a widespread natural disaster and we must act now".
They also routinely say "Elections would destroy the country", because "the country will appear unstable to the foreign observers", and they use terror tactics like saying "if the opposition does not STFU and merge with our party in the next elections we will have no option but to cooperate with a more serious Golden Dawn, and that would be horrible
". The ruling party is friendly with GD, but side with them in an election? They are only saying so to terrify the opposition voters.
On the elections as well, the New Democracy gave themselves a bonus a couple of years back, and it really benefited them in the last elections. Namely, a law that says that the party which leads in the elections, even by a single vote, gets 50 MP seats bonus (but not if the first party is a coalition instead of a unitary party... there's only one coalition party in Greece, Syriza. We saw what you did there, government). Now, they barely have a majority in the parliament (3MPs more than the opposition) and if it wasn't for the bonus seats, they wouldn't be the government.
I'd be curious to know whether this news went by unnoticed in Greek mainstream media, and if there has been any reaction from the public opinion and the political world.
It was largely ignored by traditional media, but extensively covered by crowd-funded online media.
Save for 3 news papers (two belonging to the opposition parties, and one being run by the former staff of a mainstream newspaper), all other traditional news outlets routinely present a false image of Greece. They are all in huge debts to the banks, and many of them would normally not being able to borrow even more money to continue to operate, but they have proven themselves useful tools for the government. The government passes regulations to protect mainstream media and in turn, they skew their coverage in favour of the government. This government even closed down ERT, Greece's national broadcaster, which might not have been exemplary, but at least it was bound by rules of proportional representation. Now they have replaced the ERT Network with a single TV channel (no radios, no internet site) which would blatantly stop a live broadcast when an opposition party leader would try to speak (that happened two days ago when the opening ceremony of Thessaloniki Expo was broadcast live... until a Communist Party leader was invited to give his speech).
I'd like to know what he says at 0:28 around, when the woman tells him (I think) that there are just 3 people (?)...(I hear thris anthropes )... does he just ignore her or does he reply to her objection?
No, he completely ignores her for the whole ten minutes and says the phrases mandated by the protocol:
She (Constantopoulou, SYRIZA MP) says "But with only 3 people (tris anthrópus)?"
And he (Virvidakis, New Democracy MP, president of the committee) just goes on saying "We have currently heard the opinions of the MPs, we proceed with the voting"
She says again "But with only 3 MPs? (tris vouleftés)", and she is ignored again.
He says "We will follow the typical procedure, we will vote on the articles individually. Article #1 is approved? ...It is approved by the majority"
And while he just the same thing with increasing speed the poor woman keeps shouting "There are not enough MPs present to hold a session", and "No, we are voting for this", "You are committing fraud Mr President!", "Mr Minister will you not stop him?", "You are not giving us time to vote?", "None said yes! Tell us who said yes!", "Mr President, you really want to sent this vote to the Floor in that way?" and in the end, she simply shouts "No, it is not [approved by a majority]".