By George Gilson
Parliament today voted for the lifting of SYRIZA MP Pavlos Polakis parliamentary immunity so that he can be tried for invective against and defamation of Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras.
In the vote, 174 MPs were in favour, 97 against, and nine simply declared themselves “present”.
The lawsuit was filed by Stournaras after a social media post by the MP, who called him “miserable” and “most despicable”.
The invective concerned loans given by banks which were not audited by the Bank of Greece, whereas a loan taken by the MP and which was being serviced was investigated by the country’s central bank.
Repeated outbursts, stance on vaccination
Polakis has been criticised countless times for his outbursts and attacks against SYRIZA’s political enemies.
New Democracy has said that his particular brand of vulgar grandstanding and populism was never denounced by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, and that Tsipras and Stournaras are one and the same thing.
Over the summer Polakis, a doctor, triggered the staunch criticism of ruling party cadres and even of fellow SYRIZA cadres when he said he would adopt a wait-and-see approach about getting vaccinated and that he may get the jab in the fall. He took care to be photographed when he did so.
Critics saw the long delay as a bid by Polakis and of SYRIZA more generally to secure the vote of anti-vaxxers in the next general election.
He was finally vaccinated four months after the appointments platform opened for his age bracket and after SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said that Polakis would be vaccinated in September as he had suggested.
Invective in the framework of ‘’parliamentary duties ‘
Polakis said that the charge against him is groundless and that his verbal attacks were in the framework of his political and parliamentary duties. He went as far as to accuse Stournaras of intervening in his parliamentary duties. He spoke of “miserable machinations conceived and employed by a corrupt system to cover up its scandals and to exact revenge on whoever insists on highlighting their actions and demands inspection and the punishment of those responsible”.
“I am not afraid of any Mr. Stournaras and I have proven it. Vote whichever way you like. I told the truth and whatever you do, and as much as they may try to get revenge against those who exposed them over the last years, we will not lower the flag or bow our heads. We [SYRIZA] are remaking a new social alliance, and soon things will be different in our country,” he declared in Parliament before the vote.