As Greece moves towards the general elections that will take place next year the claims and counter-claims, from SYRIZA and New Democracy in particular, regarding scandals look set to intensify.
New Democracy kept up the pressure over the Macedonia name issue on Wednesday despite attempts by Skopje to row back from comments by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev which were interpreted by some as referring to a so-called “Macedonian” minority in Greece.
The Greek government found itself in an awkward position on Tuesday when New Democracy seized on unconfirmed comments by Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Prime Minister Zoran Zaev regarding the use of the Macedonian language.
New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis sought to distance his party from the recent spate of sit-ins and protests by school pupils, mostly in northern Greece, in relation to the Macedonia name issue.
The process of Greece’s neighbour, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (FYROM), rubber-stamping the Prespes Agreement on the name issue which divided the two countries for more than 25 years is moving a step closer to completion.
Alexis Tsipras argued in Parliament on Wednesday, as the coalition unveiled the details of this year’s “social dividend” and the reduction to ENFIA property level and corporation levy to be implemented next year, that his government is only now beginning to show its true colours as far as economic and fiscal policy are concerned.
There has been renewed speculation in the Greek media over the past few days about the timing of the next elections, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said to be considering a snap vote even as early as March.
Emboldened by the success of rescuing pensions from further cuts next year and delivering a budget for 2019 that includes 910 million euros in “positive” measures, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras taunted his political rivals on Thursday even though opinion polls have yet to show any change in voters’ preferences.
The government getting its way over the pension cuts that had been lined up for 2019, but which will no longer be included in next year’s budget, has rekindled speculation about when Alexis Tsipras would prefer to hold elections.
The government’s efforts to reach a deal with the Church of Greece have become the subject of a political battle between SYRIZA and New Democracy, which have also been trading accusations over alleged corruption scandals.