Creditors’ prior actions bill with provisions for foreclosures and nonperforming mortgages and red loans passed through the Greek Parliament with a slim majority of just 153 votes out of 300. Despite the ‘success’, Greece’s coalition government has nothing to cheer about. One lawmaker from SYRIZA and one from Independent Greeks refused to vote in favor and were both expelled in light speed time.
Stathis Panagoulis (SYR) did not even bother to attend the voting, Nikos Nikolopoulos (ANEL) had already announced since Thursday morning that he would not back the bill.
Thursday noon, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asked his long time friend and associate Gavriil Sakellaridis to resign after the latter said he was unable to support such policies. Sakellaridis resigned and returned his parliament seat to SYRIZA. His successor should take the oath in the next days.
However, according to circulating reports, neither Panagoulis nor Nikolopoulos intend to return their MP seats to the parties they entered the Parliament with.
So, the SYRIZA-ANEL will most likely sit on their 153 lawmakers. That’s a very slim majority for a government to survive especially when more “prior actions” bills (social security reforms, pensions) are underway. Not to mention the Budget 2016 Bill that is supposed to bring more austerity measures worth 3.6 billion euro.
Can the government survive more austerity measures and painful “reforms”? For how long can the government maintain the balance on the acrobatic rope?
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras paid a visit to President Prokopis Pavlopoulos officially to brief him on his visit to Turkey last Wednesday. Local media speculate that Tsipras will also inform the President about the parliamentary defeat last night.
He might even seek the president’s advice.
As early elections 3 months after the September elections are out of question, for the time being the most likely scenario seems to be “the broadening the coalition government with a third political party.” Potami? PASOK? Nea Dimokratia? Too early to say.
PS the usual mean Greeks wonder why the 2 SYRIZA MPs joined the elections knowing that the creditors’ “prior actions” were inevitable. Or didn’t they know? Even the family’s newest member, a kitten of 7 months, wondered as she is fully aware of who has the upper hand in this country.
And, please, note: The kitten that has the admittedly inspired name “Kitten” saw this world’s light for the first time in late April. Go figure!
This is NOT our kitten.