Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, struggling to keep his party together in the wake of defections and waning support, lashed out at some of his former members on Dec. 14 and accused Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of following the orders of German leader Angela Merkel, who has insisted on harsh austerity measures in return for her support of bailout loans.
“Greece is a country under occupation .. from now on he should be referred to as Chancellor,” he said of Samaras during an interview on SKAI TV.
Kammenos argued that the country was not being governed by an elected government and accused the current coalition administration of Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives, the PASOK Socialists and the tiny Democratic Left unconstitutional privatizations of Greek properties and enterprises ordered by international lenders, with Merkel’s backing
Kammenos lashed out at the rebels who had left his party after they had accused him of trying to make a deal earlier this year to join the coalition in return for being named Defense Minister, which he vehemently denied.
Two more party lawmakers, Costas Markopoulos and Yiannis Kourakos, announced their departure on Dec. 14. That followed the resignations of three top party officials, Christos Zois, Yiannis Manolis and Michalis Yiannakis as well as former MP Dimitris Stamatis.
The party stands at 9 percent support in a Dec. 14 Public Issue poll, falling behind the rising neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. Kammenos said that Greeks no longer consider leftist or rightist attitudes in parties and that the government has destroyed the middle class.
He also spoke about the party’s idea of direct democracy and referred to its supporters as “people in the patriotic center.” Kammenos remained defiant. “Independent Greeks will carry on even if I’m not there, because, above all, they are citizens,” he said.