ATHENS – A no-confidence motion brought in Parliament by the major opposition SYRIZA Progessive Alliance against Finance Minister Christos Staikouras was easily turned back when the ruling New Democracy lawmakers who have a majority defeated it.
All 158 Conservative Members of Parliament backed their man while 133 lawmakers voted in favor of the SYRIZA motion, including all the rival parties except the tiny radical leftist Mera 25 (Diem25) of former SYRIZA finance chief Yanis Varoufakis.
He had broken with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras when the former premier supported austerity measures including allowing banks to seize the homes of debtors, which the leftists now oppose after approving it.
SYRIZA said it objected to revising the country's bankruptcy code to make it easier for banks to confiscate homes after the former Tsipras government allowed them to do it electronically to get around protests in court proceedings.
SYRIZA charged that the draft legislation leaves homeowners with unserviced mortgages vulnerable to foreclosures it had pushed while in power to help banks it said it would oppose but then aided.
New Democracy pointed out it was SYRIZA that abolished legal protection for the homeowners, the leftists also allowing banks to sell debts to private companies after saying it wouldn't do that either, now reneging on its own laws the same way Tsipras reneged on anti-austerity vows.
He had said “not one home in the hands of banks,” and technically was right because he let banks foreclose on thousands, now saying he doesn't want that to happen under New Democracy.
SYRIZA lawmakers denied it had let primary homes be taken and said the government's debt settlement law would legalize the seizure of Greeks assets although the leftists allowed the same including opening safe deposit boxes.