New Democracy and SYRIZA started the confidence vote as they mean to continue until Friday night’s ballot, launching full-scale attacks on each other and setting the political agenda for the weeks to come.
The latest troika review of the Greek adjustment programme was adjourned on Tuesday with the two sides having failed to settle a number of major issues.
Democratic Left (DIMAR), part of the government between June 2012 and June 2013, and one of the coalition’s main hopes for ensuring it does not lose the presidential vote early next year has been left in limbo after a weekend of high political drama at the party’s conference.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras asked for a confidence vote next week so his government will gain more time to improve its fortunes before the process to elect a new president of the republic begins in February.
Amid growing speculation that he would call early elections, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has decided to go in another direction entirely.
The possibility of snap general elections being called is never far away in Greece: After all, the country has not had elections at the end of a full term since June 1989.
Greece began a new and crucial round of talks with troika officials on Tuesday, when inspectors arrived for the latest review of the Greek adjustment programme, but the government will have one eye on political developments.
A showdown that bears all the hallmarks of a pre-election clash is brewing between the government and SYRIZA over the evaluation of civil servants.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras unveiled his plans for Greece to exit its adjustment programme early - at the end of this year - in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that did not produce any tangible results on a range of unresolved issues, including debt relief.
The 40th anniversary of New Democracy’s founding is approaching and the party’s leadership is hoping it can use the moment as a rallying point for the increasingly despondent conservatives.