The political landscape ahead of the confidence vote, likely late on Wednesday, is becoming clearer as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras edges closer to securing the 151 votes he wants without any guarantees that he will achieve his goal.
The leader of junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL), Panos Kammenos, announced on Sunday that he is resigning from the government and will not support SYRIZA in a vote of confidence, which is due to take place in the coming days.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Athens has largely been overshadowed by growing speculation about whether Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government is on the brink of collapse.
Alexis Tsipras has clarified his plans for the coming weeks, including his intention to call for a confidence vote in Parliament should his coalition partner, Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos, decide to withdraw his support for the coalition.
Alexis Tsipras and Panos Kammenos are due to meet on Friday to hammer out the details of the official separation between SYRIZA and Independent Greeks (ANEL), paving the way for the prime minister to continue as the head of a minority government.
SYRIZA is showing no intention of giving up power when its coalition partner, Independent Greeks (ANEL), departs the government as the opposition parties do not have enough support to win a no-confidence vote and the leftists believe that they can find enough willing MPs outside the party to help them continue governing.
The much-advertised split between SYRIZA and Independent Greeks (ANEL) seems to be just days away, ending their four-year association in government and leaving Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s party to fend for itself until national elections are called.
The Novartis affair is well and truly back on the political centre stage in Greece, with accusations being traded regarding interference in the judicial system and the rule of law being compromised.
The government has reiterated its intention to continue in office after the vote on the Prespes Agreement, despite the expected departure of junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) from the administration.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to start 2019 with the hope that he has the votes he needs to secure a parliamentary majority to ratify the Prespes Agreement, and then use that a springboard for the upcoming general elections.