Parliament to restrict physical presence of MPs, staff to end of February

Parliament will impose restrictions in the physical presence of MPs and staff starting next week due to a spike in coronavirus infections in Attica Region, it said on Thursday.

A scheduled meeting of the Finance Committee on February 19, to discuss issues related to a “bad bank” of defaulted loans, will take place as usual in the presence of Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras, it added.

As of next week and to the end of February, Parliament will only hold three general sessions a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) with restrictions on the number of attending MPs, and the use of teleconferencing. Plenary will only debate and vote on a maximum of two draft bills a week, with similar restrictions.

Only permanent committees processing draft bills will operate fully, while special permanent committees will only do so in extraordinary cases.

Permanent committees will process draft bills in four sessions, unless they are international treaty ratifications, which only require one.

MPs’ offices will be shut and outside visitors will be banned. At least 70 percent of staff will work from home, while deputies will be reminded by letter to keep their contacts with their constituents to the minimum in areas with high infection rates.

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