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Greece’s politicians are wasting time trying to avoid early elections

After three days of ‘exploring options to form a new coalition government with other political parties, leader of conservative New Democracy Vaggelis Meimarakis returned the mandate to the President of the Republic. “I really do not understand, why we have to go to early elections,” Meimarakis told reporters on Monday morning adding “I truly believe, we can find a solution within the current Parliament.” However, none of the parties Meimarakis approached during the last three days in order to form a new coalition government responded positive.

Now it is the turn of SYRIZA rebel and ex energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis to take the lead and proceed to exploratory talks for the next three days. With 25 lawmakers who abandoned SYRIZA last Friday, Lafazanis’ Popular Unity (LE) party became the third strongest in the Greek Parliament.

Lafazanis has no chance to build coalitions with other parties and is expected to return the mandate to the President after three days. The ex Energy Minister has stated that he will keep the mandate for three days.

With LE efforts running into sand, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos will then announce the date of the early elections as of Thursday. According to state ERT TV and Independent Greeks spokeswoman, most possible elections day is still the 20th September 2015.

Seats distribution in Greek Parliament on 24. August 2015

pro-memorandum parties:


New Democracy 76

To Potami 17


Independent Greeks 13

anti-memorandum parties:

Popular Unity 25

Golden Dawn 17

KKE/Communists 15


Many Greeks wonder what’s the purpose of trying to delay the elections with “exploratory talks” that bring no result. The answer seems simple: in this tough times, political parties try to gain a little time in order to form new cooperation formations and seek ‘fresh blood’ as candidates.

Already, ex PASOK-Prime Minister George Papandreou and his party Movement of Democrat Socialists announced Monday morning, that he is willing to start a dialogue with PASOK for an elections alliance. Papandroeu followed an invitation by PASOK leader Fofi Gennimatas. Papandreou’s party failed to reach the 3% threshold during January 25th elections, PASOK sees its rates plunge from elections to election.

Many voters in my social environment feel quite lost ahead of the snap elections and the question currently is: can someone vote in favor of Memorandum for a better future?

Greeks have not seen yet all the effects of the 3. bailout agreement between SYRIZA and the creditors. The new, the additional austerity measures are expected to sweep away like a powerful tsunami the last savings of austerity-hit Greeks and throw into impoverishment large masses of the population, especially long-term unemployed and low-pensioners. Austerity Business as usual, that is.

The next few weeks until the elections may be full of surprises.

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  1. Looking from the outside, it seems there are too many parties in Greece. To me, they differ more by their leaders’ personal agendas rather than by ideology, political stances and policies. There is, of course, the history and the brand behind each party. However, on high level at the moment they boil down to two positions on the MoU — in support or against it. Maybe, in the future the ideology might matter again for a finer differentiation, but that still cannot justify the huge number of Greek political parties at the moment. No wonder they cannot form a government.

    Of course, that’s just me. It is the opinion of Greek voters that matters.

    • Maybe time to approach the Troika and demand a reduction in political parties as a “prior action” to suit the EU agenda? Let’s bring it down to two, US style. He who gathers the most bribes becomes leader of the country for 4 years and can look after his/her donors? Would that suit? The number of different parties is simply a reflection of a thing called “democracy”, even if some of these parties aren’t very democratic…

    • Speaking from the outside, it seems to me that there are far too many uniformed trolls commenting on Greece. Of course, that’s just my opinion. It is the opinion of Greek voters that matters.

      • Hi Xenos,
        These troIIs have been non-stop since 2012 as you know. Aii part of a huge propaganda campaign. What amuses me is that the petty & ridiculous sins they “tar” Greeks with, when turned around, appIy to the other EU countries as much and usually more…like Germany’s endemic corruption, cIosed professions(No.1 in Europe), massive social welfare, massive public sector – the last 2 just “begging” to be cut down and “brought into line” with EU standards.

        • Not to mention bankrupt, undercapitalised banks that would never pass a real stress test as opposed to a “Draghi test”. Germany’s Deutsche bank is a byword, what is it – 63 trillion and more of derivatives? And its landsbanken? As for state intervention in industry – troll crime numero uno – Germany’s constitution enshrines it; and they retained the Marshall plan ‘bank’ (KfW) exactly for this purpose.

          The list of troll-crimes applying elsewhere is endless. It gives us a peek into the huge amount of quislings & collaborationists in Europe. And no doubt they only receive mini-salaries as mini-jobs to do this, since its no “career”.

          At any rate Greeks, after 6 years, are 100% inured. Just as they are 100% inured to their politicians: we are WAY OUT in front of the politicians as the 62% NO showed.

  2. Henri Myllyniemi

    Well, there are now FIVE leftist parties in parliament while pro-austerity numbers are overwhelming. One could say there is no logic behind at this at all. Now I red “53” is also considering to split out from Syriza?
    Syriza’s problem is that it was driven solely by the ideology without tools. Mr. Varoufakis tried to have the tools, but was turned down at the last moment.
    I understand the big support of € due to last decade when Greece flourished, but people should also realise it was all financed by issuing massive amounts of debt. Not a single drop of “good times” was real.
    My forecast is that ND will top out on elections. ND will form a government with Syriza and to Potami. This government will try to implement austerity as prescribed, but the pressure keeps piling up. Once the more austerity kicks in, people will again start to ask whether they want “more mnimonia” or not.
    The answer goes hand in hand with the membership of EMU. If you like € you must love mnimonia, too.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      5 leftist parties?

      • I guess Henri is counting To Potami as center-left (along with unquestionably left-of-center / leftist Syriza, Popular Unity, KKE and Pasok).

        • keeptalkinggreece

          niether PASOK nor To Potami can be counted as leftist

          • @KTG, is that your personal opinion about PASOK’s policies or they have disavowed leftist ideology? The party is listed as the Greek party, which is member of the Socialist International. (Since links are not allowed in posts on KTG, I would suggest searching for “Socialist International PASOK”; the page is listed as a second result for me).

          • keeptalkinggreece

            what is Socialist in PASOK since 2010? and you make a mistake to confuse “socialists’ with what you call ‘leftists’ and probably ‘communists’. A democracy is more pluralistic than black & white (communism vs capitalism). google ‘democracy’

          • Yes, Pasok has the word “socialist” in its title, so it claims to be socialist without being so. And malakas George Papandreou managed to get himself elected president of the useless “Socialist INternational” when he had the desire to proceed via prime ministership of Greece to becoming UN Secretary General. That tells you all you need to know about the socialism of Pasok: it’s actually elitism.

            So we can rename it: Panhellenic Elitist Movement. Πανελλήνιο Ελιτίστικο Κίνημα. 🙂

          • @KTG, @xenos
            PASOK is also the only (for now) member of the Party of European Socialists, the social-democratic European political party which constitutes the core of the second largest group in the European parliament (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats). Other Greek member-parties of the EP Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats are To Potami and Democratic Left. I acknowledge that in your opinion PASOK’s policies over the past five years do not meet your criteria for being socialist enough, and disputed my classification of To Potami as “center-left”. However, if the Socialist International, PES and the EP group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats still find them ideologically within their fold, I would go with them.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            ops, does Democratic Left still exist? Real Life doesn’t have to be captured in EP’s alliances profiles. BTW Gaddafi was also member of the Socialist International, and his friend Mubarak and who else? maybe Saddam in the past?…

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Germany’s “Agenda 2010” Asozialdemokraten are also member somewhere, beside Gazprom, but may be to be member of government antisocial is a must.

          • Your comments are ridiculous at two levels. First of all, it is clear that you understand nothing of Greek politics. Secondly, that you attribute far too much importance to names and groupings in the useless EP — instead of dealing with reality.

            Your political analysis has that in common with your economic analysis — no grip on reality at all.

    • @Henri You are right; Syriza leaders like Mr. Koronakis, Ms. Konstantopoulou and Mr. Varoufakis have provided strong indication they are not willing to follow Mr. Tsipras into supporting the third bailout package, while at the same time distancing themselves from Mr. Lafazanis and his Popular Union. Another Syriza spin-off party is likely in the making. As I stated in my post yesterday, leaders’ personal agendas seems to be more important than nominal ideology.

      • keeptalkinggreece

        @Plamen, you have little or no knowledge at all about the history of the Greek Left incl all its divisions and the causes of it. Therefore, it is hard to have an opinion on this issue.

        • @KTG It is easy to dismiss the messenger. The discussion would be much more meaningful if there are well-reasoned responses to the messages.

          All my message above states is that another Syriza spin-off party is likely based on recent statements from Mr. Koronakis, Ms. Konstantopoulou and Mr. Varoufakis, and it is hard to find ideological justification for that. Can you provide an argument against such a statement? Reading it would certainly improve my knowledge of the Greek Left.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            sorry, no time to history posts here

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            See: All messengers must go on strike everywhere because they are extremely underpaid via the trick “independent contractors” and as long this is the case and not even a theme you will find no socialist parties and this although all these parties book messengers for super fast delivery.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        Antarsya will win and Zoi is the next prez

        • keeptalkinggreece

          Don’t scare my commentators off, please!

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            Here you can see how she was laughing about
            I guess this photo is stolen and she is laughing about why the Blöd-Zeitung conducts secret opinion polls in Greece: No opinion polls because university is closed