Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Will Alexis Tsipras Be Greece Prime Minister After Bailout Agreement?some key party members refused to vote new taxes
The harsh reforms required in order for Greece to reach a new bailout agreement generated scenarios about the future of the Greek government and even the future of Alexis Tsipras in the prime minister’s seat.
What is certain is that there will be at least a government reshuffle. It may go beyond a mere change of persons as there might be a structural reshuffle.
The Greek prime minister is disappointed that some key party members refused to follow the party line, despite the fact that he asked specifically for a consensus in the crucial vote. Nevertheless, 17 party members essentially disagreed with the agreement by voting “no” or “present,”,while 15 more signed a letter saying that they voted “yes” but they disagree on principle with the agreement.
Two ministers and the House president voted “present” and expressed their opposition to the prime minister’s decision. Progressive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiots Lafazanis, Deputy Social Security Minister Dimitris Stratoulis and Parliament President Zoe Konstantopoulou did not follow the party line. Konstantopoulou went to the extent of putting some hurdles on the emergency parliament vote of the Greek proposals claiming rules of procedure.
According to anonymous government sources, the reshuffle will result in a smaller cabinet for easier monitoring of progress and overall control for implementing reforms.
Some cabinet members say that since the government was involved in negotiations, there has been very little to no government work in the past five months. Others even speak of lack of government in certain areas.
The names of cabinet members that are likely to be removed from their offices are Lafazanis, Stratoulis, Deputy Defence Minister Costas Isichos and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Chountis.
Scenarios of a coalition government that will include all pro-Europe parties (SYRIZA, ANEL, New Democracy, PASOK and To Potami) are also circulating, even though the Greek prime minister reportedly stated that he will remain in his seat to ensure Greece’s stay in the Eurozone. The meetings of opposition party leaders with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels enhance the particular scenario.
Tsipras has called SYRIZA’s Parliamentary Group for a meeting early on Tuesday morning. He will ask his party to vote in favor of the agreement in an emergency voting session in the Greek Parliament.
Meanwhile, SYRIZA’s left platform calls the prime minister to say no to the European Union and reject the deal. Lafazanis, who is the leader of the party’s extreme leftists.
According to sources close to the government on Monday afternoon, the prime minister has decided to remove Lafazanis, Stratoulis and Isichos from the government.
Analysts say that it is certain that there will be rifts within the ruling party and several SYRIZA MPs will “defect.” It is estimated that only 119 out of the 149 MPs will remain faithful to Tsipras. Nevertheless, the pro-European opposition have pledged to vote in favor of the deal, giving the prime minister the green light to negotiate and clinch the bailout agreement.
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