On this day extraordinary scenes occurred in the European Parliament when Greek members started a debate raising the competency or otherwise of the European Union President.
Series II of Greece Starts The Rot: Greece Under Fire Part 05Contrary to the reassurances of the European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker, the Greek police report to the
government detailed various admissions by the 27 year old German money smuggling ring leader: that he had been
approached by European Union officials to transport large sums of monies on behalf of numerous "clients".
Various dates, phone numbers, locations, and other pieces of evidence, were included in the report made public
today by the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Some of this evidence, however, had already been produced previously including the damning statement by the ringleader in question.
But on that occasion the call to the European Parliament was about setting up a parliamentary committee to
investigate the allegations.
This time the Syriza member of the European Parliament Nikólaos Chountís raised the issue of the competency Juncker again to much outrage from some conservative members of the Parliament.
Many commentators, however, viewed Chountís reaction this time as retaliation of the European Commission's self declaration that the limitation of the transfer of money out of Greece which has been claimed to be in breach of European laws governing such issues.
Chountís certainly referred to this "claim" and challenged the Commission to have the European Court of Justice determine an independent ruling instead.
The debate in the Parliament was just as tough, as per Chountís' previous motion calling for a committee inquiry, and the Parliamentary President Martin Schultz had to intervene several times to restore order, but once again the
motion to remove Juncker on competency grounds was defeated by a large margin.
Many members cited that the smuggler's evidence demonstrated no link in any form whatsoever between Juncker
and the money smuggling operation. The rest of the evidence and claims they considered to be conspiracy theories
Nonetheless a later motion to inquire whether the Commission would submit their self-declared position to the Court of Justice, for a ruling, was successful and such an inquiry was officially communicated with the Commission accordingly.
The Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro Jyrki Katainen replied that it was within the
powers of the Commission to declare such an interpretation of legislation and that it did not have to seek such a
ruling from the Court of Justice.
When pushed by the media what role the Court did have, Katainen admitted that Greece had the power to challenge
the Commission's decision in the Court of Justice.
The Greeks, of cause, already knew this, and by the end of the day such a challenge had already been made with the Court.