The deputies who had won the elections of 6 May were sworn in the National Assembly at 11 am. The parliament will function only a day and this Friday, it will be dismissed in order for the second election period to start. After a brief discussion, it became clear that the deputies would not be paid for their one-day term. Traditionally, the swearing and the dedication ceremony of the new parliament are held by the head of the Greek Orthodox Church Archbishop Yeronimos. However, the leaders of the two far left parties - SYRIZA and the Communist Party KKE, asked to swear allegiance to the state but not in the name of God by taking a civic oath only.
A day before the swearing ceremony, Aleka Papariga and Alexis Tsipras had sent official letters to the president of parliament to give a written explanation for refusing to swear in the name of the Trinity. Having made a slight fuss about the ideological constraints of the leaders of the extreme left forces, Alexis Tsipras kissed the cross of Archbishop Yeronimos on the day of the dedication of the new National Assembly. Some political commentators in the country considered his action as extreme populism and demagoguery. They claim he wants to attract the more conservative voters of PASOK, who are disappointed with the socialist party, but remain in the political left.
During the dedication ceremony for the one-day deputies, the parliament sheltered their relatives too. Among the observers of the ceremony could be seen deputies’ wives, parents and even grandparents, who had come to see how their beloved people swear in the name of God and the Greek state to serve the people faithfully for a full 24 hours.
Half an hour before the swearing ceremony, Samaras spoke to the New Democracy parliamentary group in the National Assembly. "The parliament is swearing today that will be dismissed tomorrow, but we should not relax." These were Samaras’ words to his deputies on the day of the swearing ceremony of the new parliament. Samaras stressed that forces are rising in Greece that threaten the country's European perspective. "Indeed, Europe disappointed us many times in the last two years, but now it is changing. We need to change together with it," said the leader of the blue party.
He explained that nothing today is as it was in the past but a possible exit from the euro area would be disastrous for the people. Samaras emphasized that the only way to prevent the closure of hundreds of thousands of local companies is by ensuring the fastest possible recapitalization of banks. He made it clear that New Democracy has chosen the middle road, which is far from the extreme moods of SYRIZA or the tainted past of PASOK. As for the extreme left, Samaras said that its aim was to tear Greece from Europe and the policy popularized by Alexis Tsipras would lead to a drastic deterioration in the living standards of Greek citizens. "They want to get their hands on deposits, to expel investments and to levy even more and bigger taxes on companies." According to the leader of New Democracy, SYRIZA is afraid of its newly designated role as a leading political party with serious responsibilities. Moreover, he warned that the party of the extreme left is unstable and brings together people with political ambitions varying from the resurrection of the "hammer and sickle" symbol to supporters of anarchism.
In his speech to the parliamentary group of SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras did not fail to reply to Antonis Samaras’ attacks. He said that in the next election, people would have to decide whether to support the Memorandum of financial assistance or to vote for changing the disastrous policies pursued so far.
"After the elections on June 17, we will be twice as many here in this room," said Tsipras with confidence to his fellows in parliament. New Democracy and PASOK, Antonis Samaras and Evangelos Venizelos have personally committed to the implementation of the Memorandum of financial assistance and they can do nothing to alter this arrangement, said the leftist. According to him, Greece’s remaining in the euro area is threatened by the Memorandum policies rather than by the ideas of SYRIZA. The political opponents of the extreme left have been presenting false dilemmas to the people in order to make them vote for the old parties, the members of which do not want to lose their seats, said the head of the radical left.
"No, Comrades, it is impossible for Greece that has become a testing ground of Europe to not want to change," Tsipras said with great pathos. To Samaras’ attacks that the nightmare scenario would become a reality for Greece if SYRIZA came to power, Alexis Tsipras replied, "Greece has been living in a nightmarish reality for two years already and New Democracy is to a significant extent responsible for that." The leader of SYRIZA defended the economic programme of his party, saying that their requirements are absolutely consistent. "What we wanted was to allow for government control of banks, which have consumed in recent years over 200 billion euro in state aid in the form of cash and guarantees. We want to give the public sector, which continues to back up the banks, preference shares with voting right."