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High on Greek agenda: non-stop disputes ahead the elections

Dispute is high on the agenda just a couple of weeks before the EU and the municipalities elections with each party trying to trip the rival and gain points in the voters’ preference. At the same time the political, economical and social disputes set the climate on fire not only among rival parties but also among the coalition government partners and the parties themselves.

Coalition government: Nea Dimokratia vs PASOK

Nea Dimocratia triggered the anger of coalition partner PASOK, when Samaras’ party made known that the Prime Minister will announce a series of Constitutional Reforms this week. The reforms refer to

  • President to be elected directly by the people and increase of his duties
  • decreasing the number of lawmakers to 200 from 300
  • the establishment of a ‘lower house’
  • changes in the law on “ministers’ responsibilities”

According to Nea Dimocratia, the Constitutional reforms were agreed by the two leader Samaras and Venizelos.

An angry PASOK issued statements denying any agreement and accused his government partner of trying to gain election profits.  “Such issues are not offered for fleeting election  impressions without depth,” PASOK said stressing that such important “reforms need a wider political and institutional consensus”.


The party that governed Greece for three decades is at risk of breaking apart over former Prime Minister George Papandreou. The conflict inside the party is not new, but it  inflamed anew, when Papandreou appeared at the book presentation of an ex PASOK MEP and thus together with Fotis Kouvelis leader from Democratic Left. DIMAR was Samaras’ coalition partner 2012-2013, but now is a rival.

Despite criticism by PASOK MPs and party officials, Papandreou did not cancel his appearance. During his speech, he complained about PASOK, saying that it was not “progressive enough” and urged for the necessity of establishing a center-left movement.

Arrows were flung immediately by several PASOK MPs with one calling Papandreou “traitor” and asking him to return his lawmaker seat.

Venizelos’ supporters accuse Papandreou for ‘flirting” with Democratic Left, where Kouvelis came also under criticism for the joint appearance with Papandreou.


The disputes inside left-wing SYRIZA are almost non-stop, a reality that is also to explain from the fact of the many different fractions inside Greece’s main opposition party.

A major conflict broke last week, when SYRIZA decided to call back the nomination of Sabiha Suleiman, a member of the Roma minority from Xanthi in North-Eastern Greece. Many explanations and recriminations were heard by party members in Xanthi and Athens about the decision to put Suleiman on the Euro-elections candidates list. Not many of them convinced the audience. To make the long story short, it looks as if there was a strike within the minorities of Roma and the Turkish born in Xanthi over who will represent them in the EU.  But the decision to call back her nomination revealed also a gap among SYRIZA officials in the context of the minorities in Thrace.

A major political dispute among SYRIZA officials is the economic one, the party approach to loan agreements and the Troika and least but not last, the “euro exit” and “return to drachma.”

This is a conflict of different approaches and point of views and party leader Alexis Tsipras cannot take under control. Just today, veteran politician and European Parliament candidate Manolis Glezos, 91,  implied “we could exit the euro”. On the same day, Υiannis Dragasakis, in charge of the economic program, said “We’ll do whatever it takes with the Troika” and implied a euro-referendum in case negotiations with the Troika deadlock.

The mine-field for SYRIZA is much too big and the party does not seem able to agree on a single policy line.

Nea Dimocratia vs SYRIZA

With SYRIZA being the main rival of Nea Dimocratia, Samaras’ party does not miss the slightest chance to attack the left-wing party.

ND is in such a frenzy about SYRIZA, that it would even issue a press release should Tsipras or a XY-no-name- party member spit his chewing gum on the street.

The examples are endless – and as usual I’m kind of lazy to count such things.

ToPotami vs all and nobody

The newly established party of former TV-star Stavros Theodorakis is … well… I can’t say. As the party avoids to formulate political and economic positions, the conflict is swept by running waters of an apolitical river. Or something like that.

KKE vs SYRIZA & others

Communist KKE is loyal to each policies to be against the EU, against the loan agreements, against the government and against SYRIZA. But KKE members are disciplined and any internal conflict do not slip outside the party doors.

Public Opinion Polls : European Parliament

In general, SYRIZA leads in public opinion polls for the EU elections but with not sweeping difference.

Latest Poll  conducted by ALCO published 28. April 2014

SYRIZA 22.3%

Nea Dimocratia 21.8%

Potami 7.2%

Golden Dawn 7%


Independent Greeks 3.4%

Democratic Left 2.2%

others  (via



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