Never ending Troika demands and reluctance by some ministers to meet them, time pushing for the release of the 31-billion -euro bailout tranche, a growing number of coalition government partners MPs sending messages that they will down-vote the austerity package, a society on the streets, several professional groups on strike, all these grills create an explosive atmosphere, while there are rumors of an upcoming government reshuffle.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras wants to join the EU Summit on October 18th 2012 with his files showing progress in the negotiations with the Troika. Best it would be for Samaras to present to his EU partners the whole agreed package of 13.5 billion euro and convince them that Greece sticks to its commitments and will put the country’s citizens on severe diet of 9.5 billion euro austerity alone the year 2013.
Left: Internal Troika – Right: External Troika
However some of Samaras’ government ministers refuse to accept Troika demands like firing 15,000 civil servants until the end of 2012 or totally overturn labour rights like having workers and employees to work for 586 euro gross per month and thus for the period of ten years.
The meeting between Samaras and his partners Venizelos (PASOK) and Kouvelis (Democratic Left) originally scheduled for today Monday has been postponed reportedly for Tuesday.
The original plan was that the three coalition partners would bless on Monday the agreement between Greek Finance Minister and the Troika. Then the road of the package to reach the Parliament for voting would be open and Samaras would attend the EU Summit as the tamer of wild, wild Greece.
However, agreement between Troika and ministers has not been agreed upon as Venizelos and Kouvelis disagree in a number of measures demanded by the Troika, even though Venizelos had voted and accepted them last March.
Furthermore there are allegedly 20 MPs sending the message to their parties that “if they vote for lay-offs in the public sector and the minimum wage, they wouldn’t dare to come out from their homes.” Apparently the MPs are 6 from Democratic Left, 8 from PASOk and 6 from Nea Dimocratia.
Meanwhile rumors about a government reshuffle are getting louder and louder.
Over the weekend, the government replaced the head of EOPYY (National Health Care Organization), a monstrous creation by former Health Minister Loverdos (PASOK). One and a half year after its establishment, EOPPY is drown in a sea of debts and has cut health services to insurers down to a minimum.
The government has been pushing head of EOPYY Voudouris (Democratic Left) for further cuts in the health sector in order to meet the Troika demands. Voudouris, who was appointed to this post after the June elections, oppposed further cuts and also sharply critized the government.