The government is facing fresh accusations of trying to control the media following the latest developments at Greece’s best known media group, Lambrakis Press Group (DOL).
In a move that will have mostly symbolic, rather than practical, impact, New Democracy announced on Thursday that the small pro-business party Drassi is to come under its umbrella.
In the clearest sign so far that Athens is willing to make some concessions to reach an agreement with its lenders and conclude the second review, the government has said it is willing to extend and improve the current fiscal mechanism.
The Greek government was still pondering the implications of Wolfgang Schaeuble’s comments regarding the possible exclusion of the International Monetary Fund from the country’s programme when the German finance minister struck again on Monday to leave Athens in little doubt that such an option would entail a high risk for Greece.
The historic Conference on Cyprus, launched last week in Geneva to discuss the issues of security and guarantees, ended on Thursday without a deal but with a decision to continue discussions at a technical level on Jan 18 before re-convening at a political level again.
After enjoying a modest revival in the opinion polls, PASOK has built further momentum by welcoming back its former leader George Papandreou and enhancing its presence in Greek Parliament thanks to the addition of two MPs.
Amid growing indications that Athens is preparing to offer an extension of the fiscal mechanism and concessions on the tax-free threshold and pensions in order to conclude the review, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici tried to strike a positive tone following their meeting in Brussels on Thursday.
In his first interview of 2017, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis claimed that he is prepared to go against the wishes of Greece’s lenders in order to reduce taxes if he becomes prime minister.
Following 19 months of intensive talks aiming to reunify Cyprus, the two Cypriot leaders are due to meet in Geneva on Monday at the beginning of a crucial week of negotiations on the issues of territory, security and guarantees.
There are increasing indications from government sources that Athens has accepted it is unlikely the review will be completed in time for the January 26 Eurogroup and that a conclusion in February is more likely.