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Thriller in Athens: Samaras coalition gov’t in impasse – Live blogging June 20/2013

The meeting between PM Antonis Samaras, Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK) and Fotis Kouvelis (Democratic Left) ended in impasse only 45 minutes after it started on thursday evening. It looks as if junior partner Democratic Left (Kouvelis) withdraws its support to Samaras.

Kouvelis statement expected soon.

10:47 pm

Fotis Kouvelis speaking:

“I repeated my proposal to reopen ERT with all personnel and then we’d discuss the restructure.

I insisted this would be the common line.that’s an issue of democracy.

I stressed, that the gov’t had to follow Council of State order and reopen the frequencies.

The gov’t did not do it.

The black on TV screens is violent.

The gov’t (Samaras) insisted.

We said no to actions that insult legality.

The gov’t [Samaras] issued a Legislative Act [to shutdown ERT] without the consent of DemLeft and PASOK.

We invited Nea Dimocratia to accept our proposals.”

Kouvelis is going to meet with his Parliament Group.

10:54 pm

Also PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos called for an extraordinary meeting of PASOK parliament group.

Right after Venizelos & Kouvelis left Maximos Mansion, PM Samaras called an extraordinary meeting with his own ministers.

TV showing the ministers entering PM’s office.

10:57 pm

Journalists question if Kouvelis would withdraw only his ministers (Justice, Public Administration & two deputy ministers) and continue to support Samaras [and PASOK] or he will leave the coalition gov’t.

11:00 pm

it is odd that both Venizelos & Kouvelis seemed to had mainly agreed with Samaras on Wednesday night meeting. What happened? did DelLeft MPs put pressure on Kouvelis?

Even bigger question is what PASOK do….

11:01 pm

Council of State second ruling on ERT is expected soon.

11:06 pm

Venizelos to make statement any minute.

Journalists report that some PASOK MPs express the view Venizelos should withdraw from the gov’t.

11:09 pm

if Kouvelis will break form the go’vt I will have to apologize to him for this article I wrote earlier today.

11:10 pm

from Samaras’ party: Samaras could call for a ‘government confidence vote’ within 3 days. Then it would be clear if Samaras remains PM

11:12 pm

Venizelos statement:

the situation for the country and the people is especially crucial.

We faced a difficult problem due to unilateral action of Nea Dimocratia to shutdown ERT and blacken TV screens.

We asked to restore the frequencies and follow court orders.

after the multi-hour negotiations

For us big issue to restore democratic institutions and restore public broadcaster.

but also there is a problem in the coalition government.

The immediate re-broadcast in full program with some 2,000 personnel [2,656] and provisions for the music ensembles ( 🙂 ) , a new minister for the media not the one who handled ERT.

there is also a major problem in coalition governance. [ he means Samaras governs without his partners].

There has to be a update of gov’t agreement to deal with the citizen’s problems who suffer economically and socially and health care.

we need a plan against Golden Dawn.

Also that the anti-racism bill will be back to Parliament.

We want a 3-party coalition government  for [another 3 years].

One can not govern based on public survey polls. [ND celebrating every time it get 1.5% ahead of main opposition SYRIZA].

— He said that nobody wants early elections and he called to Kouvelis to continue support —-

 11:28 pm

reports from DemLeft headquarters claim that Kouvelis may withdraw his ministers. Final decision to be taken with Kouvelis parliament group & party political council tomorrow morning at 10 am.

11:31 pm

reports from PASOK headquarters claim that Venizelos will continue to support the gov’t provided his demands will be fulfilled. But also MPs and high-ranking party officials have a say on the issue. Now a meeting started.

11:42 pm

Result: on the occasion of ERT all discomfort of PASOK & DemLeft from Samaras unilateral governance broke out and that the PM did not into consideration their causes.

11:43 pm

Result from what Greek media reported until now:

1. Kouvelis may withdraw his ministers but continue to support (‘tolerate’) the gov’t. If he does it tomorrow, the gov’t would need to call new ministers. Maube the gov’t reshuffle would take part tomorrow.

2. Venizelos wants to continue supporting the gov’t but with a ‘But’…

3. Samaras is in difficult political position as his partners question him. He would need to seek ‘vote of confidence’.

4. Main disagreement between Kouvelis and Samaras was that Kouvelis was opposing the mass dismissal of civil servants.

Samars coalition government was sworn in on 21st June 2012.

11:57 pm

some media report that PM Samaras statement imminent. Watch for the rumors that he would seek vote of confidence.

12:03 pm

PM Samaras is making a statement but due to ERT shutdown cannot be transmitted live [LOL].

it will be given to the press …later.

 12:08 pm

Mega TV reporter citing ND ministers: Samaras determined to seek confidence vote with PASOK and [2] independent MPs.

that would mean ND+PASOK = 153 MP + 2= 155 votes in a Parliament of 300.

155 votes? a very thin majority for a country in strict austerity.

12:15 pm

media report: Samaras & Venizelos spoke on the phone a while ago.

Samaras will address the non-sleeping Greeks via Live-transmission in short time. I don’t know who fixes the Live-Feed but certainly he wants to show “all possible even without ERT.”

Rumors insist he will seek confidence vote.

It looks as if Samaras takes his decision without Kouvelis.

Got the feeling Kouvelis is out….

 12:20 pm

Samaras statement:

first he says the usual blahlah .. Greece in euro, recovery etc.

-want continue the work of gov’t.

-we agreed on ERT on Wednesday. how to reopen ERT, hire with 3-month work contracts 2,000 people, in 10-days to pass a bill to the new ERT etc.

I closed the sinister ERT.

– today Kouvelis came and asked to return to the sinister ERT past. He asked that all personnel will be hire din the new ERT.

– Kouvelis decided not to support my solution but brave PASOK did.

-today we are one year in the gov’t and we will continue for another 3 years.”

PM said nothing about announcing “seeking confidence vote”.  It’s the usual leaks to the press to create … suspense when the political agenda is as hot as possible. Oh! We don;t go to snap polls either.

Meanwhile, also the Council of State issued its ruling : 11-pages. It’s like the temporary one.

Almost forgot one important thing: Samaras fired 2,656 people from ERT and will hire 2,000 for the new ERT.

As one Greek internet user wrote: “the next elections dilemma will be EURO or ERT.”

Thank you for following KTG live blogging.

You were a wonderfully silent audience as always 🙂 – Greeks make enough noise.

PS no time to thumbnail pictures & other blog decorations – sorry




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  1. Ah, this is gonna be fun!!! But not really… *sigh* But I will stay up a while longer then, just in case something IS happening… 😉

    • No decorations? But that’s enshrined in KTG’s constitution!!! But, OK, for the moment, and some nice cozy job in the government of the blog I will keep ‘schtum’. 😀

      By the way: can’t these guys for once just say what they want to do? A simple yes or no to Samaras would suffice… Just ONES? Pretty please? 😉

      • keeptalkinggreece

        I need an ice cream & other decorations 🙂

        • Enjoy it! You earned it tonight! Thank you so much! I now will try to sleep and see if I can get the Kounelis answer from Malta tomorrow… Great ‘fun’ this. Guess it will be a while before ERT is back after all. And the guys are still true to form and keep on postponing and postponing the inevitable… Kali nichta!

        • Just helped ourselves to pistachio ice cream with nectarine halves poached in ginger syrup, decorated with a little cream and roasted pistachio crumbs. Want some?

  2. Ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ KTG. The UK news media seem to be ignoring what’s happening in Greece right now. We thank you for what you’re doing.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      my pleasure. such events are a must. Last night I was sure I wouldn’t do live-blogging but Greeks are always good for turmoil and surprises.

  3. Thanks for the continuing coverage. Get some sleep and be ready for tomorrow. Sometimes the cats drag strange things home in the night.

  4. Thanks keeptalking… what a thriller – and special thanks for the lol at 12.03pm –

  5. Thank you for this – and all the other coverage – your site is one the the key places I learn about what is happening in Greece … and I live here! (My greek is not good… hence…)