SYRIZA stole a march on its political opponents recently by naming its candidates for May’s local elections ahead of rival parties but the move is threatening to backfire due to controversy over some of the appointments.
The date for what is certain to prove one of this year’s watershed moments has been set: the European Parliament elections and the second round of voting in Greece’s local polls will take place on May 25.
The decision on the release of the next bailout tranche for Greece, originally due for the final quarter of 2013, now looks likely to be taken in March, with the government in Athens still having much ground to cover in terms of structural reforms.
Two opinion polls on Sunday gave SYRIZA a lead over New Democracy, making it four surveys in a week that have placed the leftists in pole position with four months left until Greeks vote in local and European Parliament elections.
A new round of talks with the troika is pending so the last thing the Greek government needed at the moment was a court decision forcing it to return hundreds of millions of euros to civil servants, thereby forcing the Finance Ministry to find the equivalent savings elsewhere.
For some SYRIZA supporters it was they key to a leftist government succeeding but now the prospect of Alexis Tsipras coming to power and repudiating a large chunk of Greece's debt has been played down, by SYRIZA itself.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledged on Wednesday during his speech at the European Parliament that his government would see out its four-year term and general elections would not be held until 2016. SYRIZA, however, has different ideas.
There was a marked rise this week in the intensity of the rhetoric from Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, confirming that Greece has entered a pre-election phase. The only question is how many times Greeks will go to the ballot box this year.
A fledgling centre left movement made up of personalities from several walks of life has decided to unite with PASOK at the European Parliament elections in May in a potentially significant move for Greek politics.
Greece’s quirky anti-bailout party, Independent Greeks, found itself minus one MP on Monday in the latest episode of its brief but turbulent history