Opinion polls over the last few days suggest that the result of the European Parliament elections in Greece on May 25 is still fairly finely balanced, with SYRIZA and New Democracy jostling for the lead but with PASOK struggling.
Tension is building on Greece’s political scene as the local and European Parliament elections approach, with divisions emerging within the coalition and the verbal exchanges between governing parties and the opposition intensifying.
SYRIZA landed itself in more hot water this week with its candidate choices for next month’s local and European Parliament elections, creating more doubt about the party’s credentials.
New Democracy and SYRIZA, the two parties that will contest first place in the European Parliament elections on May 25, have announced their candidates and set out their campaign strategies for the crucial electoral race.
Thursday's bond issue – Greece's first in four years and three days – looks certain to strengthen the government's argument that it has followed the correct strategy vis a vis the country's international lenders and in terms of economic policy, leaving SYRIZA searching for a counter punch.
Since June 2013, when it quit the coalition government, there has been regular speculation about the possibility of Democratic Left (DIMAR) returning to the administration. This option has been pushed firmly off the table, at least for now.
The government, and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras personally, were dealt a severe blow on Wednesday when cabinet secretary Takis Baltakos was forced to resign after a video of him discussing details of the judicial probe into Golden Dawn with the Neo-Nazi party's spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris was posted on the Internet.
The Greek government has passed some significant milestones this week but fresh turmoil in PASOK means that the coalition is also having to focus on the trouble that may lie ahead.
Greece’s coalition succeeded in passing on Sunday an omnibus bill of reforms demanded by the troika so Athens could receive further bailout funding but the process may have inflicted lasting damage on the government and the main opposition.
Just a few days after the Greek coalition basked in the satisfaction of wrapping up seven-month negotiations with the troika, a minor aspect of that agreement is threatening to undermine the government’s already strained cohesion.