A no-confidence motion against the Mitsotakis government, tabled by four opposition parties in Greece’s Parliament on Tuesday, was voted down on Thursday evening by a majority of the deputies in the 300-deputy legislature.

Specifically, 159 deputies, all from ruling New Democracy (ND) party plus one independent, voted against the motion. As expected, 141 deputies from opposition parties voted in favor of the no-confidence motion.

All 300 deputies were present for the vote, which followed three days of acrimonious debate in Parliament.

The motion was an initiative by PASOK party president Nikos Androulakis, and followed an explosive front-page story in the weekly “To Vima” on Sunday citing doctored audio tapes leaked to the press immediately after the deadly Feb. 28, 2023 Tempi rail collision.

Mitsotakis: No coverup

In commencing his address before very well-attended and highly anticipated plenary session, Mitsotakis stressed that “…I come to today’s debate with the consideration that the Tempi tragedy is a much bigger issue than one simply serving as a reason for filing a no-confidence motion against the government. I will speak more about the truth surrounding this accident, while my references to political issues will be fewer. I stand with respect and humility before the memory of the people we lost and their families. Only they have the right to make their grief a protest…in searching for responsibilities and culprits, sometimes even in a blind fashion. I’m sure they will be watching us now.

“No order for a cover-up was ever given. It’s up to you to believe me or not. A court-appointed expert says that none of these (claims) is true. Quite rightly, in order to convince you, judicial authorities asked a second expert to examine what I consider non-existent allegations,” he added from Parliament’s podium.

SYRIZA’s Famellos

Earlier, the Parliamentary group leader for main opposition SYRIZA party, Socrates Famellos, charged that Greek society itself caused debate and the vote over the no-confidence motion to materialize, as “90% do not believe you or trust you anymore,” he said, referring to a recent opinion poll result.

SYRIZA was one of the four parties that signed the no confidence motion, which generated the three-day debate and Thursday’s late-night vote.

“We achieved something else as well, to bring us to Parliament so you may provide testimony over the serious violations of the rule of law,” the SYRIZA deputy charged, adding that the prime minister had to provide answers and assume responsibilities.”

He added that the main opposition party “does not apologize to anyone, we are only providing an account to society, and it is from society that we take orders, not from the ministers of Mr. Mitsotakis, who apologize only to special interests… Even if parliament gives him a vote of confidence, this does not mean he (Mitsotakis) enjoys the confidence of Greek society, which is where the final tally takes place.”

Andoulakis: PM’s office remains a ‘hotbed of corruption’

In his address, PASOK leader Andoulakis charged that the premier’s Maximos Mansion’s office “remains a hotbed of corruption”.

He also underlined that the government continues to flirt with the probability of another tragedy unfolding, in directly his criticism at the government’s top ministers.