Independent Greeks: Greek opposition party before falling apart over document

Posted by in Politics

A serious quarrel broke out among party officials of  Greek opposition party Independent Greeks, with spokesperson Christos Zois to have submitted his resignation on Tuesday morning. The quarrel that threatens to split the fourth largest party of the Greek parliament started on Monday, when INDEPGREEKS leader Panos Kammenos abandoned a meeting of the parliamentary group of the party thus avoiding questions posed by his MPs. The escalation came when a party MP accused Kammenos of having sent a non-paper to Greek president Karolos Papoulias right after May 2012 elections, that he was willing to support a coalition government for the post of Defence Minister.

An Independent Greeks MP has accused party leader Panos Kammenos of lying over a document in which he proposed joining a coalition government after elections in May only as long as he was made defense minister.

Yiannis Manolis, a unionist who quit New Democracy to join Kammenos’s right-wing anti-austerity party, told Skai radio on Tuesday that the Independent Greeks leader had submitted such a document to President Karolos Papoulias despite his claims that the note had been forged and that he would take legal action over the incident.

“Kammenos gave the non-paper so he could secure the position of defense minister,” said Manolis. “His first mistake was to give the document, his second was to make the President out to be a liar.”

The allegation by Manolis led to Kammenos ousting him from the party on Tuesday morning.

Kammenos claimed at the time that the document forwarded by Papoulias’ office to other party leaders during the process of exploratory talks aimed at setting up a government had not been drafted by him.

The document, apparently originating from the office of Independent Greeks, stated that the party would support a unity government if it were matter of “national urgency.”

The proposal was also reported to have said that Kammenos would agree to supporting a unity government on the condition that Independent Greeks be given the Defense Ministry among other posts, including positions on the board of any public company that would be responsible for managing Greece’s hydrocarbon resources.

Kammenos had threatened to take legal action after claiming the document had been forged or had been submitted by associates without his knowledge. (full article)

Greek media speak of an upcoming split of the party that winning 7.5% of the June-elections votes emerged as the fourth largest party in the Greek Parliament.

Independent Greeks, a right-wing, anti-austerity party with 20 MPs in the Greek Parliament was established by Panos Kammenos in February 2012. Kammenos and some party officials and MPs are formerMPs of conservative Nea Dimocratia of PM Antonis Samaras.

Odd enough the party comes at risk to fall apart, after recent rumors in the Greek media claimed that Independent Greeks would form a coalition government with left-wing SYRIZA in case of early elections. Coincidence?