The first general strike during the current cost-of-living crisis was held on Wednesday, piling more pressure on the government, which potentially faces a renewed political threat from the formation of new right-wing movement by an ousted New Democracy MP.
High energy prices and the risk of a disruption in the supply of natural gas from Russia have prompted a series of crisis meetings involving the prime minister and the energy minister with the regulator and the energy companies to put together a strategic response for tackling potential energy shortages.
There is widespread acceptance among the Greek media and political commentators that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has dropped any thoughts of holding snap elections in the coming months, partly as a result of the battering his New Democracy party is taking due to the cost-of-living crisis.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, its geopolitical implications and the economic consequences of sanctions against Moscow top the US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s agenda for her visit to Europe, including Athens.
Courted as a potential coalition partner by both left and right, KINAL leader Nikos Androulakis continues to hold his cards close to his chest regarding his intentions in the event of a close run at the next elections. Recent statements offer a somewhat clearer picture about the role he sees his party playing in the future Greek political landscape.
The government is set to submit a supplementary budget that will allow it to increase spending by as much as 2 billion euros compared to the initial budget for 2022, underlining the pressure that New Democracy is under to find solutions to the cost-of-living crisis, not only to help households and businesses but also to stop the party’s slide in opinion polls.
For the second time in a week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has flatly denied any plans to hold snap elections or to change the electoral law yet again after his New Democracy administration adopted a form of enhanced proportional representation (PR) after the next vote, which will be held under a pure form of PR.
The government’s messages of reassurance over the availability and affordability of basic foodstuffs have met with strong criticism from the opposition and sections of the media.
The cost-of-living crisis remains the government’s number one priority after little progress was made on containing energy prices at last week’s European Union leaders’ summit.
As his government continues to slide in the opinion polls, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pledged to impose a windfall tax on energy companies if they make excess profits from rising bills. He also ruled out snap elections or a change to the electoral law.