Group of PASOK MPs turn on premier

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The rifts within the rul­ing PASOK party, caused by the gov­ern­ment’s han­dling of the debt cri­sis, were laid bare yes­ter­day when 16 So­cial­ist deputies sent a letter to Prime Min­is­ter Ge­orge Pa­pan­dreou de­mand­ing that Par­lia­ment be given time to prop­erly de­bate the new set of aus­ter­ity mea­sures Greece is about to agree with the troika.

Pa­pan­dreou looks set to re­veal the mea­sures to­day, when he will meet with Eurogroup chief Jean Claude-Juncker, but the So­cial­ist deputies ex­pressed concern about the midterm fis­cal pack­age and the gov­ern­ment’s pri­va­ti­za­tion plan not be­ing sub­ject to the usual demo­cratic process.

They said Pa­pan­dreou and his min­is­ters had not given an eval­u­a­tion of Greece’s progress one year af­ter sign­ing an emer­gency loan agree­ment with the Euro­pean Union and the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund.

“A year af­ter sign­ing the mem­o­ran­dum, we are at a cru­cial junc­ture again. Why?” the MPs asked in their letter. “It is not just an is­sue of po­lit­i­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity; logic de­mands that we have an eval­u­a­tion. It is a ques­tion of pa­tri­o­tism, democ­racy and re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“It is the most ba­sic proof that we re­spect the votes of our cit­i­zens.”

The deputies are con­cerned that the midterm fis­cal plan and the pri­va­ti­za­tion bill will be rushed through Par­lia­ment with­out be­ing de­bated fully. “They have to un­der­stand that we ex­ist, we are not just here for dec­o­ra­tion,” one of the 16 deputies, who wished to re­main un­named, told Kathimerini.

How­ever, Pa­pan­dreou looks set to snub their de­mands. Sources said yes­ter­day that he has de­cided the fis­cal plan will be pre­sented as one ar­ti­cle in or­der to pre­vent Par­lia­ment vot­ing on it ar­ti­cle by ar­ti­cle, which would give PASOK MPs and other lawmakers the chance to vote against as­pects of the draft law.

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