Samaras Says ND-PASOK Will Serve Term

ypourgiko neoGreek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader, said his odd new partnership with his political rivals the PASOK Socialists will serve out the rest of the government’s term, three years, although their opponents doubt it.

Just after a new Cabinet with sworn in, including PASOK Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Samaras said the couple will have a happy political marriage despite their differing ideologies because both back austerity measures demanded by international lenders.

He said the unified front of the two parties who agree with each other will provide more cohesion than the three-party coalition he oversaw for a year before the Democratic Left (DIMAR) of Fotis Kouvelis withdrew rather than back Samaras’ closing of the national broadcaster ERT and the firing of its 2,656 workers.

Venizelos accepted a compromise to bring back as many as 2,000 workers temporarily until a new entity called NERIT, with only 1000-1200 worker is set up. He had also insisted on no firings but changed his mind when offered a power-sharing deal which will give him plum positions in the government and prevent new elections that could have seen PASOK, with 4-5 percent of the vote, marginalized almost into non-existence.

Addressing the members of his new cabinet in Parliament following a swearing-in ceremony presided over by Greek President Karolos Papoulias at the Presidential Palace earlier in the day, the conservative leader said that the government’s immediate targets include concluding talks with the country’s international creditors, achieving a primary surplus, and preparing for the rotating European Presidency staring in January 2014.

“Our immediate priority is to return to recovery ahead of time, defeat unemployment, bring in investment, avoid new measures and create jobs for the youth,” Samaras said. “We have no choice but to succeed and we are determined to succeed,” he said.

Samaras said the government needs stable steps in order to implement all the necessary reforms. “The country has no time to waste,” he said. “Each of us has his own political beliefs, but the overriding ideology right now is saving the country,” he said.

The ND-PASOK alliance has a bare majority of 153 seats in the 300-member Parliament but reportedly can count on a handful of the 14 Independents to go along with its plans, and perhaps even occasional support from DIMAR, said its leader Fotis Kouvelis, who nonetheless was miffed at the way the ERT closing was handled and how it forced him out of the government.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras kept his job in the cabinet reshuffle which was announced by government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou who also kept his post. He used to work at ERT but became the point man for the government in criticizing the agency for mismanagement, which he never mentioned while he was there.

Speaking to journalists ahead of the first cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Stournaras said PASOK’s presence in the coalition “will make things easier” for the government.

With Venizelos snatching the Foreign Minister’s job, Dimitris Avramopoulos was moved to Defense Minister as Samaras, who said he would shrink the Cabinet when he was elected, increasing it to 19 positions from 17. New Democracy MP Adonis Georgiadis was put in charge of the country’s Health Ministry, a surprise in that he came to the party from the far-right LAOS and is seen as a lightning rod for criticism because of his strident style. He used to sell books on TV.

Pantelis Kapsis, a journalist and former government spokesman under the technocratic government of Lucas Papademos, was given the top post at a new ministry for the state broadcaster and is to be tasked with overhauling the defunct ERT.

Speaking to Mega TV, Kapsis stressed the need for a new public radio and television network that will be “free from political interference and partisan politics,” without mentioning charges by ERT workers that Samaras packed it with some 30 high-paid no-show advisors and had meddled in its affairs.

“I cannot say how we are going to handle this. I believe that (ERT) employees are part of the solution and I hope that they will too, at some point, come to see it this way,” Kapsis said. He didn’t say if he would refuse orders from political leaders to appoint their friends which was a common practice at ERT.

The major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party said in a statement that the new alliance will be the “beginning of the end” for both of the ruling parties who had taken turns over the last 40 years packing public payrolls with hundreds of thousands of needless workers in return for votes, helping create the country’s crushing economic crisis and the need for harsh austerity measures.

“The new cabinet is tailor-made for the policies of the memorandum and for the government’s plans to complete the political plundering of incomes and the sell-off of public goods,” SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said.


  • worldarts

    HANG THEM ALL as Traitors to Greece!

  • worldarts

    I love it..! The corrupt “fat pig” Venizelos gets off “scott-free” and REWARED by Dictator Samaras who will serve term after after Venizelos hid the “Legarde List” of rich PASOK & ND tax cheats in his home for 2 years and now they are putting this old 77 year old man in jail !!??
    Where is Greek Justice? Where is the Press to expose these Criminals running Greece to ruin destroying our Country????

  • Alex

    Violent fanatics like you that want to murder Greeks belong in prison. I would call you a “traitor” but you are more likely a false flag Skopian troll.

  • Alex

    If you were actually concerned about treason, you would be denoucing the communists in Syriza that lobby for Skopians. Of course you being a non-Greek just slander anyone that is a patriot Greek a “traitor” to undermine Greece.

  • Alex

    THIEVES AND LIARS
    GANG OF CRIMINALS
    LEGARDE LIST
    OUTRAGEOUS
    REVOLT
    DISGRACEFUL
    HANG THEM

    Filling in for anti-Greek anti-democratic worldarts… a fanatic who
    for months on this website has repeatedly called for violence against
    Greeks and has supported instances of reported terrorism against Greeks.

  • Alex

    1000-1200 works is still too many.

    That’s tens of millions of taxpayer Euros that every year….. in perpetuity.,.. that could have gone to schools or hospitals. Its ridiculous that even today some desire to continue wasting so much money on a clearly bloated government agency (that no one watches) What’s even more twisted is communist Syria framing a bloated state propaganda outlet as “democracy’.

  • thes8niki

    or wasting 40 trillion and counting on the financial parasites known as wall street, whom you are a lapdog for

    for anyone still confused about where nazi alex’s true colors lie. those poor german banks who apparently were forced to lend money they made money on then got bailed out when their bets went sour. privatize profits socialize losses the mantra of banker facsist puppets like Alex. boo hoo hoo cry me a river you traitor

    “Alex • 24 minutes ago

    You mean the German banks that were robbed (EMPHASIS ADDED) blind by thieving leftists like you that constantly shamelessly demand handouts from others?”

    Alex • 2 hours ago

    Of course defaulting is a matter of morality you idiot.

    Alex

    Right comrade. I am a “Nazi” for stating the morally obvious. We are the ones that stole money from the Germans.

    11:46 p.m., Thursday June 20

    Alex

    You mean the German banks that were robbed blind by thieving leftists like you that constantly shamelessly demand handouts from others?

    11:24 p.m., Thursday June 20″

  • thes8niki

    All Pasok/ND scandals from 1981-april 2013

    http://e-chania.blogspot.gr/2013/03/1981.html

    samaras is a germanotsolia traitor

  • Alex

    (Yawning)

    Ah. look. The far left basket case that also slanders the EU and US as “fascist” is too lazy to type out his own posts so he just cut and pastes the same thing over and over again.

    As I said troll, If you can’t be bothered to say anything new, I’ll cut and paste as a response to you too.

    ,,,,,
    What you bizarrely think is a point against me is a point for me you imbecile. We did indeed rob the Germans (and others). Unfortunately shameless slanderous far leftist parasites like you can only think how to suck back the money of others. No concern for what you yourself produce. Everyone else is to blame for your personal economic problems… except you yourself.

  • ibid

    And your point? Is there anything in those statements that’s not true?

    BTW Just because you are the last post and it happens that I’m next in line , it doesnt mean I’m trolling you. But then again, who knows?
    *shrugs*

  • Alex

    So you support hanging our politicians, support violence terrorism and support violent revolt ike World arts encourages? Sure sounds “moderate” of you supporting violence against Greeks.

  • worldarts

    READ THIS below from New York Times today… Incredible!—-
    “Greek EU Loans Plan May Reward Some Crooked Bank Executives”

    New York Times by Landon Thomas– June 25, 2013
    LONDON — Even as European taxpayers grimace at the escalating cost of bailing out Greece’s banking system, the banks’ top executives are poised to potentially strike it rich.

    The plan developed by the Greek government and its international creditors to recapitalize the country’s banks involves an unusual twist as stock offerings go: the new shares in the banks will give investors free and potentially lucrative warrants that will entitle them to buy many more shares in the future at a predetermined price.

    Because many of the investors who are expected to participate in the stock program are the same executives who were running the banks at the time of their near collapse, critics see it as a case of bankers being rewarded despite their management missteps. And they say the Greek government is forgoing billions of euros in potential revenue with the way the stock offering is being handled.

    Officials of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund did not respond to questions about the warrant program. Nor did Greece’s international creditors — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — the so-called troika, which helped the stability fund devise the program.

  • AussieGreek

    The traitor Samaras will rename the party NEA PASOKRATIA.

  • Alex

    Samaras is a patriot.

  • Alex

    Is that from the same rapidly antiGreek New York Times that just told us to vote for communist Syriza…. and writes articles called “Shame on Greece for messing with Macedonia”?

  • Alex

    The traitors, as usual, are the far leftists that treasonously collude with Skopians and rant “facism” at any Greek that attempt to protect our borders.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h7jcUINKmU

  • Alex

    Have to love how I’m being modded down for pointing out the communists lobby for Skopians. Evidence enough as to who the real traitors are on this website (assuming they are even Greek)

  • Alex

    Is “justice” to be found with the second place Skopian and illegal loving communists that would win an election if the current coalition fell?

    Rather than just complaining about Pasok and ND, why not for a change explain to the actual Greeks here what you support Worldarts?

  • tom

    If Greek gov’t lies, cheats, manipulates its own people, could you imagine what they’re fabricating about the people to the north? C’mon greeks have you become that numb?