SYRIZA MP Panagiotis Kouroublis was expelled from the party on Thursday evening after he was censured by the plenary of Parliament for inappropriate behavior. Greece’s main opposition party, left0wing SYRIZA has now 86 seats in a parliament of 300.
Party leader Alexis Tsipras conveyed the decision in a letter read to the plenary by one of Parliament’s vice presidents, Odysseas Konstantinopoulos.
The controversy arose during debate for the 2022 draft state budget, when the MP and former shipping minister spoke of people who died of coronavirus in the intensive care units (ICUs) and charged the government with “murdering people, thousands of people were murdered”.
He also told the ruling New Democracy party that it was shameful to deny that the prime minister had no knowledge of the crimes taking place in ICUs, and cited the death of a friend.
He then refused his statements when one of the vice presidents of Parliament asked him to, which led to his censure by the body.
Parliament President Constantine Tassoulas, who initiated the censure, condemned the statements and said they “undermined Parliament’s standing”. He added that they should not be excised from the minutes but remain “as the worst possible example of a behavior we unanimously condemn.”
So far, Kouroublis keeps his seat as independent MP.