PM con­fi­dent of mea­sures vote

Pa­pan­dreou gets EU back­ing but dis­sent within PASOK ranks in­ten­si­fies ahead of de­bate on midterm fis­cal plan

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Ge­orge Pa­pan­dreou ap­peared con­fi­dent yes­ter­day that the gov­ern­ment’s cru­cial medium-term fis­cal plan would pass through Par­lia­ment next week de­spite con­tin­u­ing tur­moil within the rul­ing PASOK party.

Pa­pan­dreou ap­peared buoyed by the agree­ment of Euro­pean Union lead­ers in Brus­sels to dis­burse a 12-bil­lion-euro loan to Greece in July as long as the gov­ern­ment passes its lat­est batch of aus­ter­ity mea­sures through Par­lia­ment. The EU lead­ers also agreed the out­line of a sec­ond bailout, which could pos­si­bly reach 110 bil­lion eu­ros, but the de­tails re­main to be fi­nal­ized.

Fac­ing jour­nal­ists yes­ter­day, the premier in­di­cated he was sure that the midterm fis­cal plan will get the nec­es­sary votes in Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day, which is a con­di­tion that the EU lead­ers set for the loan to be paid to Greece.

“We have a dif­fi­cult path ahead of us but it is prefer­able to bank­ruptcy,” he said. “I be­lieve that the ma­jor­ity of those in the Greek Par­lia­ment un­der­stand this.”

In their sum­mit con­clu­sions the EU lead­ers called on “all po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Greece to sup­port the pro­gram’s main ob­jec­tives,” say­ing “na­tional unity is a pre­req­ui­site for suc­cess.”

Pa­pan­dreou said he would reach out to other par­ties in a bid to re­form Greece’s tax sys­tem but the pos­si­bil­ity of cre­at­ing any al­liances ahead of next week’s vote is vir­tu­ally nonex­is­tent. In fact, the prime min­is­ter could have his work cut out try­ing to con­vince all of his MPs to vote for the aus­ter­ity pack­age.

PASOK cur­rently has 155 seats in Par­lia­ment, giv­ing it a ma­jor­ity of five. How­ever, Kozani deputy Alekos Athanasiadis has said he will op­pose the mea­sures be­cause he is against the pri­va­ti­za­tion of the Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion. Yes­ter­day, an­other deputy, Thomas Robopou­los, said he would also vote against the fis­cal plan.

“I am not flinch­ing at the threat that we will not get our next loan in­stall­ment,” he said, lash­ing out against Greece’s cred­i­tors for im­pos­ing the lat­est cuts de­spite op­po­si­tion from PASOK MPs. “We took some de­ci­sions about the midterm plan but when Fi­nance Min­is­ter Evan­ge­los Venize­los took them to the troika, they re­jected them. Well, if the troika wants to rule this land, let them do so.”

Robopou­los in­di­cated he might give up his seat in Par­lia­ment af­ter vot­ing against the mea­sures.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.