End of Greek Coalition a “Staged Divorce”, Says Opposition



Tsipras, Kammenos celebrate election victory in 2015

Opposition parties in Greece have reacted angrily to what they see as a “staged divorce” between the SYRIZA-led government coalition partners.

Following the decision by the leader of the junior partner ANEL, Panos Kammenos to pull-out from the government over the Prespa Agreement, Alexis Tsipras has announced that he will seek a vote of confidence in the government this week.

The speaker of the Greek parliament, Nikos Voutsis, said that he will propose that the confidence vote be held on Jan. 16.

Political analysts point out that Tsipras can muster the 151 votes required to achieve a successful outcome of the confidence vote.

SYRIZA itself has 145 deputies in Parliament and can count on the positive votes of Citizens Security Deputy Minister, Katerina Papacosta and To Potami Deputy Spyros Danellis.

Four other Independent Greek Party deputies, including Thanassis Papachristopoulos, Costas Zouraris, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura, and Agriculture Deputy Minister Vassilis Kokkalis, are also expected to lend their support.

If all these individuals vote to support the government, the total should come to 151. However, the final tally could reach 152, if Centrist Union M.P. Yannis Saridis, who recently voted in favor of the government’s budget, opts for a positive vote as well.

Only Kammenos, the Greek Defense Minister, and his Deputy Minister Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha, will resign their posts within the government.

Political Farce

The end of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition was a “staged divorce”, according to an announcement released by the main opposition party New Democracy, which called Tsipras and Kammenos a “pathetic duo”.

New Democracy called recent coalition talks were only “a show that aims at the ratification of the Prespa Agreement, SYRIZA remaining in power and to keep Kammenos and his M.P.’s in their seats a little while longer.”

The announcement added that this was the reason that Kammenos “loaned two of his M.P.s to Tsipras so that they can give him a vote of confidence, without ousting them from ANEL’s Parliamentary Group.”

“The curtain must fall on this tasteless and damaging performance. In the upcoming vote of confidence, any M.P. who supports Mr. Tsipras is assuming responsibility before history,” the party’s statement concluded.

Fofi Genimmata, the leader of center-left party Movement for Change, demanded snap elections. In a series of tweets, she said that the “country cannot withstand the farce staged by Tsipras and Kammenos.”

“The government cannot continue with the support of political remnants and peddlers. Even if it secures the vote of confidence, this will only lead to a new impasse. There is no popular support and trust for Mr. Tsipras and his partners,” she added.

Potami Party leader Stavros Theodorakis indicated in a tweet on Sunday that the centrist party is not prepared to cast a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ government.

The tweet said that “Potami, which has never hidden [its intentions] has made it clear for a long time now. it does not give a vote of confidence to Mr. Tsipras, ideological obsessions, inefficiency, or populism. The party-state cannot be rewarded.”