Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was in Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday but at home, the government and opposition election machinery was picking up speed.
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.
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.
Tension between Greece and Turkey has been relatively high over the last couple of weeks due to developments related to hydrocarbon research in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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.