MP Resignation Shakes Fragile Majority of Greek Coalition



    tsipras-katrivanou-syriza-708SYRIZA lawmaker Vassiliki Katrivanou resigned early on Monday after voting against the austerity multi-bill approved by Parliament late on Sunday.

    Initially Katrivanou voted for the draft legislation “in principle” but then voiced objections over two articles relating to the establishment of a new privatization fund and the mechanism that would automatically initiate spending cuts if Greece fails to meet its fiscal targets in April 2017.

    Nevertheless, the omnibus bill passed with the 153 votes of the SYRIZA, ANEL combined forces.

    After the vote Katrivanou gave up her seat in parliament. However, her voluntary resignation means SYRIZA can give her seat to the next candidate MP according to the vote count of the September election. Reportedly she will be replaced in parliament by Giorgos Kyritsis. Therefore the fragile majority of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition of 153 remains.

    Before the announcement of her resignation, there was fear within the government that Katrivanou would leave SYRIZA but keep her seat in parliament as an independent lawmaker. However Katrivanou announced her resignation early Monday morning.

    “It is a difficult decision, politically and personally, but one that I felt was necessary,” the lawmaker told reporters coming out of parliament.

    The two coalition parties exchanged harsh accusations with the opposition in two days of stormy debate in the plenary.

    During the tumultuous debate New Democracy MP Dimitris Stamatis suggested that there would be snap elections in spring 2017, while Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the next election will be in September 2019 when the coalition’s four-year term expires.

    The government accused the opposition of not voting the bill that is necessary for Greece’s return to growth. Tsipras said that the conservative party should have at least voted in favor of the privatizations and the selling of non-performing loans since they are neoliberal policies that New Democracy believes in.


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