MPs have begun debating the government’s proposal for an overhaul of Greece’s asylum laws, which New Democracy sees as an important step towards facilitating the return of arrivals who are not eligible for protection and thereby easing the pressure on Greek islands and authorities in general.
Parliament’s preliminary inquiry into the Novartis affair and the alleged manipulation of the case by former alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos to damage SYRIZA’s political rivals was due to begin on Tuesday.
New Democracy strongly defended the development bill adopted by Parliament on Thursday and which the government hopes will pave the way for more investment and growth in Greece.
Athens is watching closely the political developments in North Macedonia, which is heading for snap elections on April 12 that were triggered by France vetoing the opening of EU accession talks with Skopje during the recent European Council.
Although MPs have started to debate the 2020 draft budget, which encapsulates the government’s economic policy going forward, the focus of Greek politics is currently on an apparent rare moment of compromise between the parties over allowing Greeks living abroad to vote in the national elections from their country of residence.
The government is gearing up for a busy legislative period in the coming months, which will include tax and pension reforms as well as the adoption of the 2020 budget.
The government is seeking to overhaul Greece’s asylum procedure with the aim of tightening up the process and producing quicker decisions as well as faster returns of migrants who are not eligible for protection.
SYRIZA’s attempts to look to the future as it seeks to broaden its voter base have been somewhat overshadowed by the dragging up of the party’s problematic past.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has highlighted his willingness to compromise with the opposition parties over voting rights for diaspora Greeks in a bid to advertise his moderate style as well as to settle the longstanding electoral loose end.
Turkey’s actions in Syria and the East Med, as well as the EU prospects of Albania and North Macedonia are top of the diplomatic agenda for Greece this week, amid high-level meetings between European officials.