The government, and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras personally, were dealt a severe blow on Wednesday when cabinet secretary Takis Baltakos was forced to resign after a video of him discussing details of the judicial probe into Golden Dawn with the Neo-Nazi party's spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris was posted on the Internet.
The Greek government has passed some significant milestones this week but fresh turmoil in PASOK means that the coalition is also having to focus on the trouble that may lie ahead.
Greece’s coalition succeeded in passing on Sunday an omnibus bill of reforms demanded by the troika so Athens could receive further bailout funding but the process may have inflicted lasting damage on the government and the main opposition.
Just a few days after the Greek coalition basked in the satisfaction of wrapping up seven-month negotiations with the troika, a minor aspect of that agreement is threatening to undermine the government’s already strained cohesion.
Following seven months of discussions and lengthy meetings over the past few days Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced in a televised address on Tuesday that Greece and the troika have agreed on all the key aspects of the drawn-out review of the Greek adjustment programme.
Just as it looked as if May’s European Parliament elections would be an antagonistic but relatively sterile battle between New Democracy and SYRIZA, with Golden Dawn a shoe-in for third place, journalist Stavros Theodorakis is threatening to upset this apparent balance.
An attempt to unit Greece’s centre left under the umbrella of the “Olive Tree” alliance was launched in earnest over the weekend but rather then promoting unity among social democrats it served to highlight their divisions.
Journalist and TV presenter Stavros Theodorakis officially launched a new party on Tuesday. Rather than for its content, his muddled presentation was more notable because it heralded the arrival of yet another grouping on what has become a rather crowded Greek political scene.
An ambitious plan for the rejuvenation of the centre left of Greek politics has stalled as the movement of intellectuals and politicians known as the “58” has turned down an opportunity to cooperate with PASOK at the upcoming European Parliament election.
A move by magistrates this week to lift the parliamentary immunity of the Golden Dawn MPs yet to be charged in connection to the party’s alleged criminal activity has added some extra uncertainty to the build-up to May’s local and European Parliament elections.