Face masks made in Turkey stir political debate in Greece
The Greek Parliament convened on Jan. 29 for a second day to discuss a censure motion brought forward by the main opposition party Syriza against the government over its handling of the recent snowstorm which crippled the capital Athens.
Lawmakers were told they would receive 10 face masks to be used during the discussions.
At the session, Liana Kanelli, a lawmaker from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), raised the issue and said that the face masks distributed to MPs were made in Turkey.
“Did you know that the face masks you gave us are Turkish-made? Refugees are not allowed to cross the Evros [Meriç] River [to enter Greece from Turkey], but masks find their way [to Greece]. Of course, interests are more important than anything,” she said.
Following the session, Konstantinos Tasoulas, the speaker of the parliament from the ruling party New Democracy, told reporters that the parliament’s health commission launched a tender for the procurement of 5,000 face masks.
“A company won the tender with its 1,000 euro bid, which was the lowest offer. On the packs of the face masks were the U.K. and German flags. But it was also noted on the pack that the German company manufactured the masks in Istanbul. If I had been in the commission, I would have said those masks should not be preferred,” he said.
The government on Jan. 30 survived the censure vote. Some 142 MPs in the 300-seat parliament voted in favor of the motion, falling short of nine votes.