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Analysts forecast the political death of Democratic Left

21 June 2013 / 19:06:28  GRReporter
3580 reads

Victoria Mindova

The recent clashes provoked by the closure of the national broadcaster ERT have led to discord in the Greek coalition government. Talks of early elections, political instability and a crisis of confidence have once again begun in the country. GRReporter has sought the expert opinion of political analysts from local media who are presenting their viewpoint on the impact of the recent developments on the stability of the country.

We asked Alexandros Diamantis from Dimokratia newspaper what would be the political fate of Democratic Left.

If Democratic Left leaves the government coalition, this opens the way for the dissolution of the party. There already is serious disagreement among the members of the party. Deputies who, until yesterday, supported Fotis Kouvelis will now disassociate with him and may join other political spaces. They may even support the parliamentary opposition SYRIZA party.

Whatever the developments are, the position of Democratic Left on the political map is not good.

In all cases, the current government will continue to rule without Fotis Kouvelis. The question is how long it will do so. Most likely, it will survive until the autumn, when the results of the German elections will become clear.

In order for the government of Antonis Samaras and Evangelos Venizelos to continue functioning, there should be a parliamentary majority. Even without Democratic Left, PASOK and New Democracy have 153 votes in parliament which allows them to adopt laws. This means that while there are no new political developments in Germany, Greece has the opportunity to vote on new measures relating to the recovery programme. We do not know what might happen after the autumn.

In all cases, Fotis Kouvelis’ decision not to support the closure of ERT has brought the country to the brink of a new political crisis with new early parliamentary elections.

Only some of his constituents may perceive Kouvelis’ actions as the right move. As for the general public, I think that the withdrawal of Democratic Left from the coalition government was a mistake.

We asked Dimitris Aliferopoulous, a political analyst at Alpha TV, how he would evaluate the move of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to suddenly close ERT.

There is pressure from the supervisory Troika to make redundancies in the public sector. Anyway, the three party leaders involved in the coalition government have signed and agreed with the layoffs in the public sector.

My opinion is that Antonis Samaras had been pressed by the insistence of the supervisory Troika for the immediate dismissal of 2,000 civil servants. This measure was necessary in order for Greece to receive the next support tranche. Otherwise, the country will once again be threatened by the suspension of payments from the foreign lenders. Therefore, he had preferred to make the move with ERT.

Samaras had held a secret meeting with the other two coalition partners, namely Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis, at which he had informed them that it was necessary to close ERT.

They had chosen to close the national broadcaster because there had been, for years, a lot of scandals related to appointments and payments.

Through the closure of ERT, the government could easily dispose of a large number of employees (2,500), receiving the support of the majority of the general public.

ERT is an organization that has been associated, for a long period of time, with financial mismanagement and waste of public funds. They had preferred it, purely as a PR campaign, because the public would have more easily accepted its closure. All had agreed with this move. However, it was made in an incorrect and violent manner.

I think that Antonis Samaras’ advisers made a mistake in the way they closed the television station. Overnight, and without any warning, they had cut all broadcasts, interrupted the television and radio frequencies and allowed a black screen. This was the worst thing that could have been done in relation with the restructuring of ERT.

Practically, they had made the worst possible choice. The image of the country must not be associated with the suppression of the national media.

The image of the country must not be associated with the suppression of the national media.This could have been done in a milder way and with concrete steps, namely, while there are still frequencies, to prepare the new form of ERT which will take over its activities after a month of reforms.

The split between the coalition partners has led the country to the brink of new elections. Antonis Giokas of Vima FM radio presents his views on whether Greece could withstand a new period of elections.

According to the data which the current government presents, another election period will be a catastrophe for Greece. On the other hand, we see that the parliamentary opposition SYRIZA party, which is the main competitor for power, is not insisting on immediate recourse to the ballot boxes. I think that, for now, avoiding early elections is convenient for everyone.

Anyway, the present situation is crisis for all government participants. I also do not think that ordinary people want new elections. They are intimidated by the government propaganda that if the government falls there will be no tourism and revenues.

Tags: PoliticsCrisisEarly electionsDemocratic Left
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