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‘Day After’ for Greece’s Coalition Government with PASOK Falling Apart

With a marginal majority of 153 votes Greece’s coalition government under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras managed to pass the austerity package bill through the Greek Parliament. An austerity bill that is hard if not impossible to be implemented when in combination with the Budget 2013 will send millions of people to economic impoverishment and loss of dignity.

Samaras’s three-party government survived the voting suffering certain casualties, translated into loss of parliament seats. The political cost was paid right way.

Before the voting, Samaras’ three-party government had 176 seats  in the Parliament. Right after the voting it had 7 seats less. Twelve hours later, one more seat less. It’s quite possible, it will soon lose two more.

Nea Dimocratia and PASOK punished those MPs who voted contrary to the inner party agreements. 

Nea Dimocratia expelled one MP, PASOK expelled 6 MPs and thus with fast track procedures.

Also two MPs from Democratic Left voted against the party-line and now leader Fotis Kouvelis receives pressure by some party members to expel these MPs and claim the seats back.

When MPs get expelled from parties parliamentary groups, they normally keep their seats as independent members of the Parliament.

Once powerful PASOK that ruled over Greece for more than two decades and won 160 seats (incl 50 seats bonus) in 2009, has been left with a thin parliamentary group of 26 seats.

One of its MPs, writer Mimis Androulakis, announced his parliamentary independence this morning during a radio interview. Even PASOK was surprised to hear such a thing as the previous day Androulakis had voted in favor of the austerity bill.

PASOK is falling apart. At least two high-ranking party officials (ex ministers Loverdos and Chrysochoidis) want to challenge leader Venizelos for the party leadership. Socialist PASOK is divided in two, three, maybe four pieces. One front urge Venizelos to abandon the coalition government, another fornt urge him more active participation with ministerial posts. At least four and the position of deputy PM for him, as some Greek media claim.

Rumors have been recently circulating, that PM Samaras plan a government resuffle even with the consideration to assign his coalition partners Venizelos and Kouvelis to deputy PM posts. A resuffle could most likely take place after Greece has received the much-desired and multi-anticipated 31 billion euro tranche.

 But PASOK is falling apart. Some party officials urgently demand consultation meetings and thus as soon as possible. Even before the voting of the Budget 2013 on Sunday. Something that Venizelos would unlikely let it happen. However the splitting of the party is a matter of time. For several reasons: whether purely politically, whether purely ideologically or whether purely based on the ambitions of high-ranking officials. Voices are loud and call for an emergency convention.

The theoretically socialist but practically neo-liberal PASOK is paying the price for taking the country to the IMF and thus under negotiations-free and odious conditions.

 PASOK is falling apart and with it also Samaras coalition government.

Can Samaras claim his coalition government is still authorized and legitimate to take such decisions crucial for the destiny of 10 million Greeks with such a marginal majority? Even junior coalition partner DEMLEFT did not vote for the austerity bill.

Coalition Gov’ seats:

ND 126 (50 seats elections bonus) + PASOK + 26 + DEMLEFT 16 = 168

Based on purely on the elections results 3 parties that got 41.9% voted YES for austerity bill, while the opposition parties that received together 45.8% voted NO.

While a fast track re-creation of PASOK solve its problems and consequently the problems of the government? Or will PASOK finds again its socialist face and abandon the government coalition?

Can Samaras’ government survive the austerity bill or are early elections on the horizon as main opposition party left-wing SYRIZA claims?



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