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251 lawmakers vote for Rescue Program, SYRIZA suffers heavy losses

With a wide majority of 251 votes the Parliament authorized the Greek government to reach an agreement with creditors on another “rescue” package with will bring more painful austerity in the next 3 years.  The roll call voting ended at 3:30 am Saturday with heavy losses for governing left-wing SYRIZA as two of its ministers and the Parliament Speaker did not back the bill, another 7 chose to be absent, among them also ex Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, while 15 SYRIZA MPs who voted YES issued a statement underlining that it was a “YES, but…”.

Votes distribution among the 291 present MPs out of 300

YES 251: SYRIZA, Independent Greeks, ND, To Potami, PASOK

NO 32:  2 SYRIZA MPs, KKE, Golden Dawn

Present 8:  all SYRIZA MPs

Absent were: 7 SYRIZA MPs among them Yanis Varoufakis and 2 GD MPs

Although the Prime Minister has the backing of his junior coalition partner and of three parties form the opposition, the vote result weakens Tsipras’ party power as some 30 SYRIZA lawmakers openly differentiate themselves from his policies. This could cause him troubles especially when it comes to ratify the agreement with creditors and to vote the austerity measures bills. Already several scenarios about the next political steps started to circulate, among them is also the one of early elections and new coalition government. I will report about them on a separate post.

Κουρέλια στα έδρανα οι υπουργοί της κυβέρνησης - ΦΩΤΟ

Exhausted: The Prime Minister, the government lawmakers & ministers. The debate started at 11:53 pm when the Parliament Speaker insisted to go by the book: when a Bill comes to Parliament in the form of “ugency”, the Parliament Committee decides on one day, the voting takes place on the following day. She was right to decide to go by the book, as ex PASOK leader Vanizelos has a sharp Argus eye on the government’s doings. Even after the Referendum, Venizelos was still insisting … – sorry I could not follow his constitutional argument.

tsipras parliament

In a statement issued at 5 o’ clock in the morning, Prime Minister Alexis Tispras implied that the internal party “cleaning” would be due after Greece has reached an agreement with creditors.

“The Parliament gave a strong mandate to the government to reach an economically sustainable and socially just agreement with the creditors. The important issue is now the successful conclusion of the talks. All other issues will follow.”

It is hardly expected that PM Tsipras would initiate any political steps before this crucial weekend, where creditors are called to approve or reject the Greek proposals of Thursday. The Euro Working Group meeting is taking place at 11 am on Saturday, the Eurogroup finance ministers will meet at 4 pm. On Sunday, a Euro Leaders and a EU Leaders Summit are scheduled to bless or reject Greece as their member.

The SYRIZA rebels

The main objection of SYRIZA lawmakers to not back the authorization bill is that a new agreement with creditors will mean a 3.bailout package with more austerity.

Present voters: Parliament Speaker, also Drachma-supporters Energy Minister Lafazanis (Left Platform), Alternate Social Insurance Minister Stratoulis, MP Lapavitsas & Leoytsakos.

Three SYRIZA MPs chose to be absent, issued a statement instead saying that the bill is not just about authorizing the government to negotiate with creditors but a commitment for a 3. bailout that is written by creditors’ demand and that will sink the country to further economic impasse.

15 SYRIZA lawmakers among them also two Alternate Ministers (Isychos/Defense, Chountis/Foreign Affairs) issued a declaration saying that they voted “YES” only in order to avoid to cause troubles for the government for possibly losing the absolute majority -“δεδηλωμένη”- in the Parliament

Parliament Speaker and SYRIZA MP Zoi Konstantopoulou voted “Present”.  Lawmakers from opposition New Democracy shouted at her “Resign now!” There are claims in the Greek media that also some government members expressed discontent and wanted Konstantopoulou to resign.

Earlier on Friday, Yanis Varoufakis had declared that he supports the government and left for the beautiful island of Aegina to spend the weekend with his daughter.

Referendum, Rupture & Bailout

The voting took place 5 days after almost 62% of the Greeks voted NO to austerity with many of them also rejecting rupture with the creditors that would lead to immediate bankruptcy and would contain the risk of exit from the eurozone.

In his introductory speech, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said that “Greece is now in a better position than before the July 5 referendum where voters followed government advice and rejected terms of a previous bailout proposal.”

“Greek people did not give a mandate for rupture,” PM Tsipras told lawmakers. “They gave a mandate to strengthen the government’s negotiating power for an economically sustainable deal.”

Whether voters voted NO to rupture but silently yes to another bailout package, if Tsakalotos and Tispras come back from Brussels without a strong commitment by the creditors for a debt relief, I “see” the government to lose a significant number of lawmakers quicker than they think.

SYRIZA has 149 seats in Parliament.

PS PM Tsipras may win the opposition and lose his own lawmakers.

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24 comments

  1. A new word OXINAI will replace OXYMORON 🙂

  2. So does anybody have an idea how we Germans can defend our country and our politicians from the BILD (today: “Die Griechen-Verarsche”)? The freedom of press is to be maintained meanwhile. Maybe Greeks and Germans should rather demonstrate together against BILD instead of blaming each other.

  3. Is this a case of 251 lawmakers OVER-RIDING THE WILL OF THE GREEK PEOPLE ?
    If so, is it legal for them to do so ?
    What does the Greek constitution say ?
    or
    Is this a case of CORRUPTION AT ITS BEST ?

    • I’d say, it’s _demagoguery_ at its best.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        The Troika-terrorists have all the rights to “adjust” the “measures” and constantly extort Greek governments since 6 years, paying back EU/IMF already minimum 50 billion while enemy-propaganda says “they’ll never pay back” and Greece is waiting since June 2014 for contracted last rescue-money-loans? So, now Greece has no right to adjust after 14 days of forced exist – with already parallel e-money happening- being blackmailed with public hospitals collapsing the next days or even today, and letting refugees starve on the islands? Let’s call Turkey for humanitarian help to let’s see the whole world who’s trying to let refugees starve, as who’s was not let drown, gets deported anyway.
        Demagoguery is having to pay monthly 20 bux for state-run and private disorientating Goebbels-media and believing their lies being the truth? Sure, at least these jerks paid

      • Or maybe, _demagoguery_ at its _worst_ is more accurate…

  4. You see, the 251 lawmakers WORK FOR THE PEOPLE who pay their wages.
    What does it take to be considered a traitor in Greece, I wonder ?

  5. Finland and Latvia can stop the deal.
    The Finnish red line

    Yougov: Finnish public opinion hostile to Greek debt relief
    http://yle.fi/uutiset/yougov_finnish_public_opinion_hostile_to_greek_debt_relief/8147711

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      What a rip-off, Kosovo and Montenegro are using the Euro much longer

    • “All three Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) are showing their frustration with Greece’s negotiation tactics. They are very strongly pro-free market …” ouch! Press Releases by some ministries or institutions have to pay a fee in order to be posted here! Love KTG

      • Great explanation of what Greece is facing. It isn’t just Germany and France, the only heads of states Tsipras is talking to. Other countries have to agree to any deal as well and Greece has been ignoring them.

        • Greece has not just ignored them. Tsipras’s “creatively ambiguous” approaches to Putin must be infuriating the Baltics, who feel threatened by their much larger neighbor to the East due to their historical experience and the events in Ukraine.

        • The only thing suitable to do with pathetic ex-communist countries that have no understanding of the history of Europe (and the reasons for its creation, which was to keep the Nazis under control) is to ignore them. They should not have been admitted as voting members.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        Greece helped these “Saugosch*-Satellites” joining not only EMU but EU and who does not forget the support to join? Who is helping with their coast-guard the last four days in search and rescue operations for refugees around the Dodecanese? Turkey, not these fake Europeans with their fake sea and muh cheaper food than Krauts, than Greeks who get no public assistance, no unemployed allowance but the Baltic get that all and now as this always gets to be named the reason for that their Russians don’t escape it’s not? And it’s not German money that could get called back by Saugosch or media-kollaboracia with Germoney?
        (*”Saugosch” is Schäuble’s old nickname by his “Yellow-feet” people)

  6. René Henri Pasche

    A new Melian Dialogue: “The strong do what they have the power to do and the week accept what they have to accept.” A well known truth in Germany, and not only there. Unfortunatly Thucydides’ other safe rule “to treat one’s inferiors with moderation” is seldom heard. And it was not a German who said “in war resolution, in defeat defiance, in victory magnanimity, in peace goodwill.” Magnanimity and goodwill: in the Greek drama words from another planet – it seems???

  7. I don’t get it. What was the purpose of the referendum? No means yes?

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      The result of announcing the referendum is the Grexit that is now taking place since two weeks. It’s a bit like the Iraq embargo with the little difference that Iraq was able to print money but if the Greek government would print money the “Europeans” would call that fake money.
      Greece should print as many Euros as possible as Euros are the real counterfeit, at least Greece has a constitution and states without constitution are not allowed to print money, the EU is not even a state.

  8. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    If Zoi has to resign and elections would come she would be next prez of Greece