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.
After weeks of back and forth, rumour and counter-rumour, it appears that the troika is due to return to Greece to bring its latest review of the adjustment program to a delayed conclusion. The completion of the review, though, is just one piece of the Greek jigsaw that has to fall into place over the coming months.
A look at recent opinion polls would tell you that the Greek government is under pressure going into the local and European Parliament elections in May but New Democracy and PASOK’s anxiety is also evident from the fact that the two parties are altering the rules ahead of the European vote in the hope they will reap the rewards.
A Council of State ruling in January looks to have blown a 500-million-euro hole in the government’s fiscal plans. Now a Supreme Court verdict is threatening to create an even bigger shortfall in Greece’s public finances.
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.