Greece’s two-party coalition survived a no-confidence vote early Monday, leaving opposition party SYRIZA, which submitted the censure motion, looking unprepared and testy. The government, meanwhile, suffered the embarrassment of one of its MPs voting for the motion.
Despite the contentious austerity policies the Greek government has implement since being elected in June 2012, its decision to shut down public broadcaster ERT has caused political waves like no other measure. This was underlined on Thursday, when SYRIZA submitted a censure motion to Parliament after riot police forced out the last ERT employees from the broadcaster's headquarters.
Riot police raided the headquarters of former public broadcaster ERT in Athens and Thessaloniki before dawn on Thursday, almost five months after the government shut down the TV and radio service. It is the latest chapter in a story fraught with dangers for the coalition.
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has attempted to clear up any doubts – at least outside of the country – about whether he favours Greece remaining in the euro. Speaking at the University of Texas on Monday, he made it clear that he believes it would be more damaging for Greece to leave the single currency than to remain in the euro.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has come up with a surprising proposal to give hope to young Greeks, including those considering leaving the country because of record unemployment: Free wi-fi throughout Greece.
Greek democracy has been under pressure since the country’s economy and political system began to unravel in 2010 but the strain will only increase after the murder of two Golden Dawn members outside the party’s offices in northern Athens on Friday night.
Critics have levelled the accusation at SYRIZA many times but the party’s veteran MP, Manolis Glezos, has broken new ground by being the first leftist lawmaker to express doubts about just where SYRIZA is going to find the money to fulfil its policy pledges.
The leader of anti-bailout Independent Greeks, Panos Kammenos, has never been reluctant to express his opinion but when this view fails to meet with the approval of his own spokesman, it is clear that nothing about the party's future can be taken for granted.
The troika is due to resume its latest review of the Greek adjustment programme next week but ahead of the inspectors’ return, a former minister has cast serious doubt on Greece’s negotiating strategy and the motives that drive some of the lenders’ demands.
Discussions at the European Union leaders' summit in Brussels, which concluded on Friday afternoon, did little to clear up the uncertainty about where Greece and the troika stand with regard to Athens having to find more budget savings next year.