The unprecedented quarrel between finance minister Evangelos Venizelos and transport minister Makis Voridis on issues of justice in the cabinet meeting caused intense debate on the functioning of the government.
The pretext was to reduction of criminalization and the facilitation for divorces. Voridis openly disagreed with these two reforms of justice minister Miltiadis Papaioannou, saying that LAOS has values and ideological disagreements. Taking the floor, Venizelos spoke of "screamers" who must understand that they are wrong. Voridis did not let that one go and said that this is not a PASOK government and every opinion must be heard. Venizelos reprimanded him by saying: "You should watch your mouth", and receiving the answer "I will speak as I like".
Papademos intervenend and in an attempt to calm things down said that all opinions will be heard at the ministerial council.
But when justice minister Miltiadis Papaioannou took the stand, speaking to Voridis he stated: "The greater value is that of justice and therefore we should enhance the sense of justice of the people. You will know that in democracies the parliament is the decision making body."
Health minister Andreas Loverdos tried to calm things down speaking of his effort to achieve convergence for an issue of his ministry. "The intensity in our speech does not help us. Yesterday, I presented two legislative initiatives at the intraparty committee, before bringing them in the cabinet, and the two other parties gave me a 'no'. Instead of accusing the other political forces I continued the dialogue to reach even a few agreements."
Loverdos also requested support for the government: "We must support the government: a) regarding the implementation of the decision of October 26, and b) regarding everything related to economic development, removing barriers created by bureaucracy in administration and justice. The contribution justice to the economic delay is 50% of the overall problem. Today in Greece, there is a denial for justice. Citizens do no recourse to justice when they know it will take many years to resolve their problem. That must change, primarily on issues related to economic development and prosperity."
When foreign minister Stavros Dimas took the stand he said the disputes should be resolved at a lower level and only major disagreements should reach the cabinet. "Simple common sense," he said, adding that there can be no consensus on a crowded shape as the cabinet that discusses a bill with 114 articles.
The intervention of defence minister Dimitris Avramopoulos was similar. He said there can be no single sided government, while convergence should be sought at all times.
Finally, they agreed to discuss the differences in "lower level" before reaching the cabinet, and if they do not reach an agreement, then the final solution will be given by the parliament.