The prospect of some kind of last minute deal emerging to secure the election of a president and averting snap elections in Greece is looking slim at the moment despite a growing number of government MPs openly stating their support for a compromise solution.
Wednesday’s presidential ballot, in which government candidate Stavros Dimas attracted just 160 votes, leaves the coalition with a huge amount of work to do by the final vote on December 29 if it is to have any chance of avoiding early election.
A total of 160 MPs backed the government's presidential candidate, Stavros Dimas, on Wednesday, which was one vote less than the coalition's most conservative estimates. Another 135 voted "present" and five were absent.
The non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate eased again in the third quarter (Q3) of 2014, falling to 25.5 from 26.6 percent in Q2 and 27.2 percent in Q3 2013, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
The percentage of Greeks who believe that the bilateral issues between Greece and Turkey can be solved through dialogue has declined significantly to reach its lowest level since 2003, according to a new survey that also shows that support for the idea that Greece and Cypriot share common interests remains stable.
In its 2014 report titled “Productive jobs for Greece”, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) highlighted this week the crucial role of social protection in times of crisis, while outlining the impact that the lengthy recession and adjustment programme has had.
When Greece returned to international bond markets in April this year after a four-year exile, it was trumpeted by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as another step towards the crisis exit door. “Confidence in our country was confirmed by the most objective judge – the markets,” he said after investors snapped up three billion euros of five-year bonds with a coupon of 4.75 percent. Exactly seven months later, though, the yield on those bonds shot up to almost 10 percent. Suddenly, the markets do not seem so confident. So, what went wrong?
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is following a well-trodden route by trying to force early elections over the presidential ballot. Several others before him have tried to exploit the loophole in the Greek constitution which means that snap polls have to be held if 180 MPs cannot be found to back a presidential candidate. The most recent opposition leader to follow this tactic was PASOK’s George Papandreou in 2009.