Ms. Adamopoulou has been accused of defamation by a local police trade union after a parliamentary speech in which she claimed, citing published material and testimonies, that plain clothes police in demonstrations act as provocateurs to initiate violence.
Members of Parliament are immune from prosecution, except if the House votes by simple majority to waive their immunity, in which case they are tried in court.
Speaking before Yanis Varoufakis, Adamopoulou made reference to several public statements by named individuals, including an ex Minister of Public Order, police spokespeople, Members of Parliament, other politicians and journalists, who have made equivalent claims in the past.
All the MPs of the ruling conservative New Democracy party as well as 4 Social Democrats formed the majority in favour of lifting her immunity. Parliamentary immunities have been lifted in the past for serious crimes and cases of defamation against specific persons, as stipulated in law. There has been no precedent of a waiver of immunity for an accusation of defamation against an impersonal group.
This will be marked in the annals of history of the Greek parliament.
In response to this egregious act of stripping the immunity from a member of parliament and the prosecution that will follow, Yanis Varoufakis said:
“Today is about a thunderous defeat of parliamentarism. That the statement for which Ms. Adamopoulou is being prosecuted is (…) not the issue here. The issue today is something much higher in the framework of parliamentarism. It is the freedom of speech of members of the Greek parliament.”
Yanis emphasised that there is no other place in Europe or even abroad where an MP is prosecuted for their opinion except for the parliaments of Turkey and Hungary, which are steered by authoritarian regimes. Indeed, as Yanis states, the first thing Orbán did was ‘terrorise the MPs’. The Orbánisation of Greece has begun.
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