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4 Νοε 2011

Political developments in Greece on 3rd November 2011

The day starts in a heavy ambiance due to Ms. Merkel's and Mr. Sarkozy's  statements, who made it clear that the only eligible question for a referendum would be "yes or no to the Euro" and that the only (acceptable) answer on behalf of the Greek people could be "yes".
Until the Ministerial Council starts, there is just confusion and ongoing political negociations.

Until noon, five Socialist Party MPs  (Kaili, Lintzeris, Panariti, V. Papandreou, Merentiti) declared that they are removing their support to the Prime Minister. Mr. Lintzeris' statement was impressive, as he mentioned that Mr. Papandreou "belongs to the past"; on the other hand, Ms. Elena Panariti said that "she is not prepared neither to tolerate nor to support in any way any kind of questioning the European orientation of the country". The criticism has been focused on the personal choice of the Prime Minister to call a referendum, a choice that provoked anger to the Eurozone leaders. At the same time, the suggested alternative is a transitional government, which will secure the "european way" for Greece.

Before the Ministerial Council, top Ministers are having meetings, while the impression is spread that there will be crucial developments by vice-Minister's Evangelos Venizelos circles.

At the same time, the President of the lead opposition conservative party Nea Demokratia, Antonis Samaras, as well as the leader of LaOS (the extreme right party), Yiorgos Kratzaferis and the one of Demokratiki Symmachia, Dora Bakoyianni, are asking immediate draw back from the referendum, so that the negociations procedure with the Troika is completed and that the country goes to elections.

On the other hand, on behalf of Syriza, Mr. Tsipras believes that a transitional government is not democratically legitimate, as much as the current government.

At the Ministerial Council, which starts around 15h00, the Prime Minister states that "we needed to use the threat of a referendum, so that Mr. Samaras accepts a national unity government", while he makes it clear that neither he nor his government will resign.

At the same time, a first initiative for negotiations between the Socialist and the Conservative parties is starting by MPs of the two in the office of the President of the Parliamentary External Affairs Committee, Mr. Ntinos Vrettos. Foreign and Greek media are speculating that there is a preference for a government of commonly accepted personnalities, such as Mr. Loucas Papadimos (ex vice-President of the ECB). The efforts are interrupted, when Mr. Samaras' statements are being published. Also, a committee of Socialist Party MPs who would start negotiations with him, are not accepted by the Conservative Party.

The parliamentary parties of the Left, KKE and Syriza are underlining that the real intentions of Nea Demokratia and its hypocritical anti-memorandum policy have now been unveiled.

Shortly before 18h00, the Prime Minister starts his speech to the Parliamentary group of the Socialist Party. In that speech, he repeats what he said earlier to the Ministerial Council. After Mr. Venizelos' explanations, who had settled his broken -since the G20 meeting- relationship with Mr. Papandreou, the first objections are being expressed. Ms. Anna Diamantopoulou (Minister for Education and ex EU-Commissioner) and Ms. Vasso Papandreou (ex Minister and ex EU-Commissioner) state that there is lack of communication. Ms. Diamantopoulou asks that negotiations start for a national unity government, while Ms. Papandreou, demands immediate elections.

During the evening session in the Parliament, the discussions are very intense, as Mr. Samaras states that "if (Mr. Papandeou) thinks that I will govern with him, well, he did not understand correctly". He makes it clear that he will vote for the loan agreement, but is still disapproving the applied policy and quits the Parliament session with his group. The vice-President of the Government comments that "our allies are asking for a written commitment on behalf of Ms. Samaras". Socialist Ministers and Ms. Bakoyianni admit that, in case the procedure of approval of the loan agreement is not completed immediately, the country will default. In her speech, Ms. Bakoyianni attacks strongly the Left parties. Mr. Papandreou insists on the line of negotiating with the Conservative party (who has already quit the room), mentioning that "Mr. Samaras' decision to vote for the loan agreement is a positive step".

The evening Parliament session is over shortly before 23h00.

Galaxyarxis (translated by Krot)

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