There are some worrying signs about the strength of the Greek government coalition building this week. Between voting abstentions, public disagreements and new strikes, it’s looking ever bleaker. Read more
Here’s the running order for Angela Merkel’s
last? visit to Athens. Graphic courtesy of Bild.
What’s the justification for creating a three-ring security circus in the Greek capital, a general strike and quite possibly a major riot? Read more
Greek cabinet ministers are meeting later today to finalise how they’re going to come up with €11.5bn in savings over the next two years as demanded by the Troika. Unsurprisingly, the most contentious and sensitive part is the €1.5bn in pension and wage cuts that are needed.
From the FT: Read more
The New Democrats are off to attempt forming a coalition, Pasok’s busy making itself look important but will probably join, while Syriza says it’ll be “very powerful” in opposing them. It’s already conceded to, and ruled out allying with, the NDs.
So… Read more
A tense Sunday in Athens as the Greek parliament approved an austerity budget amid violence in the streets that included riot police firing tear gas and stun grenades at protesters while buildings throughout the city were firebombed:
The legislation passed by 199 votes in favour to 74 against, a convincing majority for Lucas Papademos, the caretaker prime minister who has been given the job of pushing through painful reforms demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in return for a second €130bn bail-out. … Read more
Greece’s opposition leader insists that his party will vote against the government’s latest round of austerity measures, dashing hopes that the nation’s political class will unite in a last-ditch effort to prevent a sovereign debt default, reports the FT. “They are asking me to support the same kind of medicine for someone who is dying from that medicine. I will not do it,” Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy party, told the Financial Times in an interview. The Socialist government plans to enact a €28bn ($40bn) package of spending cuts and tax increases next week to secure the next €12bn tranche of a €110bn international loan needed to avoid default. Finance ministers of Greece’s eurozone partners issued a public plea on Monday for all Greek political parties to support the austerity programme, saying “national unity is a prerequisite for success”. Read more