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Greek parties agreed on elections before Easter

27 December 2011 / 21:12:14  GRReporter
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After his meeting with the Greek Prime Minister, PASOK leader George Papandreou demonstrated again his full support to the cabinet of Lucas Papademos.

At the discussion that lasted about an hour and a half, George Papandreou said that his party fully supports the work of the cabinet and the implementation of all commitments taken by the parties in its composition.

In practice, however, the strange government coalition does not seem able to cope with its tasks. Forty-five days after the formation of the cabinet, none of the reforms to which the leaders of political parties have committed themselves have been carried out. Analysts say the slow-down is due primarily to the fact that nobody wants to risk losing some of the party electorate months before the elections.

In practice, this is the most discussed topic in the Greek public space. It appears that the parties have agreed on the approximate date of the elections. Although New Democracy constantly refers to the transience and the specific tasks of the cabinet, the party makes it clear that a 2-3-week extension of the mandate after the date 19 February, which was agreed at the meeting of political leaders under the auspices of the President, would not be a problem. In his statement for Radio Vima FM, the party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis stated, "any change in the agreed date 19 February depends on the voluntary exchange of Greek government bonds and, of course, no one speaks for changing it after Easter." In this way, he actually announced the extension of the government mandate, given that Easter is on 15 April in 2012.

It appears that the agreement to extend the government's mandate had been reached during the meeting of New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on the Friday before Christmas. After the meeting, government sources claimed that the leader of the "blue" has confirmed his support to the government.

However, the news that the election date will be changed came from the third coalition partner - the leader of the far-right party LAOS George Karatzaferis. Vividly as ever, he said that "February is very suitable for carnivals, but not for elections."

The Prime Minister himself has initiated meetings with political leaders after the last Council of Ministers last Wednesday. "Either we will become more serious and unite under a minimum common denominator, or I will take my decisions too," Lucas Papademos said to very close associates.
The first governmental crisis erupted on the occasion of pensions cut, which the ministers of New Democracy opposed.

According to commentators, the Greek Prime Minister feels that the country could end up again in an atmosphere of instability as in last October, when the internal destruction and pressure from abroad took the government to deadlock. They believe that Lucas Papademos is preparing to call the parties to assume their responsibilities, possibly through public statements.

But while stating support and loyalty to the cabinet, George Papandreou again has not taken any action to put an end to internal party unrest in PASOK, which prevents ministers from the party devoting themselves to their tasks. As it became clear, he did not say anything about his successor at the meeting of the political council of the party. According to sources, he made a report on the two years of his government and stated that the council would meet again in early 2012, but did not set the agenda.

Earlier, many members of PASOK claimed that George Papandreou was "ready to talk" at today's meeting. However, this did not happen. It caused the reaction of LAOS spokesman Kostis Ayvaliotis, who pointed out that it was necessary "to clarify the situation in PASOK in order to know next to whom we will bein the cabinet in the coming days."

It became clear minutes ago that four members of the Political Council have posed the question about PASOK’s tomorrow. In particular, the expected contenders for the leadership and cabinet ministers, at  present Michalis Chrysochoidis, Andreas Loverdos, Evangelos Venizelos and former governor of Piraeus Yiannis Mihas have spoken openly about the need for change and proposed that possible intra-party elections be held as soon as possible. According to sources, Evangelos Venizelos proposed that arrangements begin before 15 January in order to be concluded before the signing of the new Greek loan, which will allow the party to prepare for the coming elections. So far, the intentions of George Papandreou remain unknown, and with them - the effectiveness of the Greek government.

Tags: PoliticsCabinetLucas PapademosElectionsLeadersPASOKLAOSInner-party elections
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