MPs for New Democracy, the Democratic Alliance, and To Potami are demanding straight talk from Defense Minister Panos Kammenos on the deluge of revelations regarding the Saudi munitions deal.
Citing Kammenos’ perceived lack of honest cooperation, the MPs of these three parties who sit on the parliamentary committee on armaments voted “present” during a procedure for approving two new government-to-government contacts, the one concerning the free of charge acquisition and maintenance of helicopters, and the other on the sale of military materiel.
The parties maintain that as long as Kammenos refuses to respond to revelations, there can be no trust on any arms deal that the minister tables in parliament.
Kammenos has opposed opposition parties’ request to summon all parties implicated in the Saudi deal to testify before the committee.
‘’The political leadership of the defense ministry is hiding. Common sense dictates that when one has nothing to fear one invites all implicated parties to testify before parliament, because 66 million euros were lost. We cannot discuss other contracts while the judicial probe [on the Saudi dead] is pending,’’ said New Democracy MP Vasilis Kikilias.
‘’There must be trust at the political level, when we daily see problematic aspects of the Saudi deal, with the government evading the key questions.
Democratic Left leader Thanasis Theocharopoulos , who sits on the committee as a member of the Democratic Alliance parliamentary group, charged that instead of offering answers, Kammenos “engages in mudslinging and slander”.
Theocharopoulos questioned why Kammenos did not ask for a briefing from the Greek EYP intelligence service on the activity of the company of arms merchant Vasilis Papadopoulos, as munitions sold by his firm were tracked down in the former ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, in 2014, according to the EU-funded and German-funded group itrace, which provides data on diverted conventional weapons, ammunition, and related materiel.