Against the default, but not for austerity
Greece's embattled government survived a confidence vote crucial to avoiding a sovereign default, as thousands of protesters chanted insults outside parliament
Greece's embattled government on Wednesday 22 June, survived a confidence vote crucial to avoiding a sovereign default, as thousands of protesters chanted insults outside parliament. In the parliament the atmosphere was equally heated, with all party leaders debating the issue.
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing Greek Parliament called for elections and categorically rejected the referendum being promoted by the government. Samaras clarified that "we shall not become participants in your deadlock, we shall vote against the Mid-term and we shall vote for the clauses from the implementary law that we consider correct, while we shall continue to promote the renegotiation" of the memorandum. The ND leader further said his party has always supported the decrease of the country's deficit and debt. "We support also the main tools for achieving these targets.
The structural changes, the utilisation of the state's property, privatisations and restricting the public spending. Not only [do] we support these measures but we were the first, before you, to promote them," Samaras said. The main opposition leader reiterated his refusal to give consensus to a "mistake", adding that he was ready to give his consensus for the correction of the mistake. He added that there were still margins for renegotiating the memorandum so as to correct the mistake. Samaras concluded by saying "if you like referendums Mr. (Prime Minister George) Papandreou, then make the best referendum, that is elections." Greece's opposition leader insisted the austerity program designed to pull the country out of its debt crisis "will not work" and must be renegotiated. Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) parliamentary group president Alexis Tsipras, speaking in parliament said "the government, with the tolerance of (the main opposition) New Democracy (ND) and LAOS (the Popular Orthodox Rally party), is sacrificing public property - even the very party that constituted the trunk of the democratic sector - so as to go ahead with this mixture of policy which is ruining the country."
Tsipras also denounced the Mid-term program and said the climate in the country's political life resembles the political climate in 1965. Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, addressing parliament described the latest "ultimatums" by the European Union, the eurozone and Scheuble to Greece as an "extortion with the fifth tranche of the memorandum as the challenge." Papariga said the Greek people "must send their own ultimatum to the ultimatum given by the EU and the eurozone to the Greek people and telling them [to keep] their heads in, if you do not show consensus there is no fifth tranche." Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis, called for a "government of national action".
"There may have been a difficulty, for us not to have been able to make a national action government, but we must all work in this direction for the country to be saved. Nobody benefits in giving arguments only to (rallies taking place in) the square," he said. Karatazaferis also said "we must find a way of understanding at all cost, there are good proposals from all the parties and we must proceed in this framework."
Source: Athens News
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