Parties switch attention to new elections
Compromise reached over new caretaker premier following tense meeting of party leaders
Greece unofficially began its new election period, ahead of polls on June 17, as party leaders clashed over who would be appointed caretaker prime minister before they finally agreed to follow the constitution and opt for Council of State president Panayiotis Pikrammenos to take over the role.
Pikrammenos was sworn in on Wednesday night and is expected to name a cabinet on Thursday that will tide the country over until new elections are held.
The head of Greece’s highest administrative court was chosen after the option of keeping on his predecessor, Lucas Papademos, in the role was ruled out. New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos had been in favor of Papademos continuing but met with opposition from the head of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras.
The leftist leader proposed that PASOK veteran and former Economy Minister Gerasimos Arsenis should be appointed caretaker prime minister. Tsipras’s choice infuriated Venizelos, who said that it was contradictory for SYRIZA to refuse a role in a unity government and to then put forward its own proposal for who should be caretaker prime minister.
Tsipras’s suggestion is seen as having two purposes: to appeal to traditional but disgruntled PASOK voters, as SYRIZA seeks to boost its support ahead of the new elections, and to form an alliance with the small party Social Pact, which was co-founded by Arsenis’s wife and former Labor Minister Louka Katseli.
Minutes from Tuesday’s meetings between the party leaders revealed that Tsipras insisted on his refusal to join the government because he wanted to be part of an administration that would repudiate the terms of the bailout.
“We asked for the Greek people to vote so we could form a government that would cancel this program,” he said.
Tsipras added that the proposal to enter a government with PASOK, ND and the Democratic Left suggested SYRIZA would have to accept that some of the austerity measures would still be applied pending a renegotiation with the EU and IMF. Tsipras said he wanted a commitment that all such measures would be “frozen.”
The clash over Arsenis was settled when Tsipras said he would accept Papademos as premier.
However, Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga and Independent Greeks chief Panos Kammenos objected and it was decided that, as decreed by the Greek Constitution, the eldest of Greece’s senior judges would be given the position.
Following the meeting, the parties immediately began devising their election campaigns. Samaras gave an indication of what voters can expect from ND with a brief statement. “The Greek people have two paths ahead of them: One is to change everything in Greece, within a Europe that is also changing.
The other is to live the terror of exiting the euro, the terror of isolation, out of Europe, and the collapse of everything we have made until today,” he said.
The conservatives are preparing to focus their efforts on discrediting SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks over their anti-bailout stances. In the effort to rally center-right forces, it appears that ND is close to an agreement with former member Dora Bakoyannis, who is currently the head of the liberal party Democratic Alliance.
The possibility, however, of the head of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Giorgos Karatzaferis, returning to ND took a knock as he said he wants to “rebuild” his party.
The election campaign looks set to revolve around the issue of Greece’s membership of the eurozone, with PASOK and New Democracy arguing that SYRIZA’s position of absolute rejection of the EU-IMF memorandum would lead to Greece being forced out of the eurozone.
Venizelos warned voters against “populism, demagoguery, irresponsibility and the trade in false hopes.”
- Register Now
- Mykonos: Something to 'Crowe' about
- Greek community pays tribute to Hazel Hawke
- Recognising genocide
- Melbourne Heart signs Massimo Murdocca
- Greek men affected by crisis
- Greece honours Australian WWII veterans
- New rules for reverse mortgages
- Kastellorizian Association names their best
- Philippoussis vs furry animals
- Christopoulos to open new Melb Cafe
- 8 May 2013 | 13 Votes
- 8 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 3 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 15 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 22 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 13 May 2013 | 8 Votes
More from this Section
- Greek journalist arrested in Iran
- New scheme for 75,000 jobs starts in January
- A child goes missing ‘every day,’ police says
- Tax overhaul draft sees no declarations for single incomes
- Greek men affected by crisis
- Anti-racism bill might go back to coalition leaders
- Security fear at Muslim Assoc
- Volunteerism on the rise in Greece
- Greek shipowners choose Chinese shipyards
- Anti-racism legislation divides coalition
An idea proposed by visiting professor and linguist Georgios Babinitios has seen the creation of the first centre to promote Greek culture in Australia
Kathy Tsaples has written more than a cook book; Sweet Greek is a celebration of the Greek Australians who migrated to this country, and a lasting legacy for all her children
Immigration Minister says negotiations continue for the long-awaited Working Holiday Visa
The new series of MasterChef Australia is already in hot water before it's even started
Three Greek sponsored clubs still hold the top three places on the ladder. For a Greek derby of old rivals, Oakleigh Cannons travel to South Melbourne for round seven.
Director Oliver Stone wished SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras 'good luck' in leading Greece.
Gianna Angelopoulos offers advice to future Olympic bidders and organizers
The teams that started as underdogs beat the favourites at home on Wednesday, setting up an appetizing mini-league.
Greek Australian politicians have paid homage to Australia's first lady, Hazel Hawke.
Learning a second and third language was at the top of the agenda in Education Week in Victoria
A rush of withdrawals would put additional strain on the banks that Cyprus can hardly afford at the moment
A Greek Australian part of the trucking company at the centre of the alleged fraud, Viking Group, was involved in the 'severe bashing'.
Campaigner for the Cypriot community for years, Mr Toumbourou was beloved by many in the Greek and Cypriot community
Essendon will be trying to make up for last week's abysmal loss to Brisbane
The Victorian government's grants program will fund improvements to community-owned facilities up to $100,000
At the annual St. Constantine and St. Helen's day, Kastellorizian Association will present its 2013 VCE Recognition Award
Two remaining Australian players in the English Premier League could be ditched by their teams
The schemes allowing the owners of properties that breached building regulations to protect their homes from demolition are illegal says the Council of State