SYRIZA Lawmakers Numb Ahead of Voting on Painful Measures

ko_syrizaThe new austerity measures that must be voted on in Greek Parliament on Thursday have left several SYRIZA lawmakers scratching their heads as most measures are the exact opposite of their pre-election promises to voters.

The fragile majority of the 155 votes of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition in the 300-seat House might be the litmus test of the sustainability of the Greek government.

SYRIZA won the general elections in September for the second time in 2015 with one of their promises being that no primary residence will be auctioned if the home owner cannot make their payments. However, on Tuesday Greece and lenders agreed that only those of very low income and the jobless will be able to save their homes from foreclosure. This translates to only 25 percent of home owners. The remaining 75 percent are in danger of losing their homes to the banks.

Also, after negotiations, the settlement of debts to the state in 100 installments is maintained but under much stricter conditions. In addition, the Greek government imposes excise duties on wine and lottery games.

The coalition will have to carry the burden of voting in favor of the measures that will unlock 2 billion euros in financial aid and pave the way for the disbursement of another 10 billion euros for Greek bank recapitalization.

It remains to be seen if the coalition will come out of the “difficult” vote unscathed. The omnibus bill that includes 48 prior actions required by the bailout program is tabled today (Wednesday) in parliament and will pass through the pertinent committees. MPs are called to vote on the bill on Thursday.

SYRIZA lawmaker Alexandros Triandafyllidis said, “This is not what we wanted… I invite the movement against auctions to remain active… We want people to protect their rights. To take it to the streets… The government has its own responsibility, lawmakers have their job to do and the (people’s) movements have their own sacred mission.”