LIVE BLOGGING – Latest Political Developments – Gov’t of PASOK Crumbling

LATEST POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

04:30 – Just a couple of hours after the announcement was made in Cannes,
Finance Minister and Vice-Premier Evangelos Venizelos issued a statement
at 4.30 am stating that he will not support Papandreou on his decision to hold a referendum.


08:30 – PASOK MPs: Michalis Chrysohoidis, Andreas Loverdos, Vasso
Papandreou, Fofi Gennimatas, Odysseas Kostantopoulos, Evi Christofolopoulou, Costas
Skandalidis, Dimitris Lintzeris, Pythagoras Vardikos, Kostas Kartalis
and Mimis Androulakis all declared this morning (on several talk shows as well as through statements they issued) that they will not
support the initiative for the referendum.

10:00 – PASOK MP Vasso Papandreou just called on the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias to hold an emergency meeting of political leaders and immediately form a temporary government. She said that following this national elections should be held right away.

10:05 – In a televised interview on Kalimera Ellada, and while announcing his decision not to support Papandreou on this decision, PASOK MP Mimis Androulakis said that if Papandreou does not withdraw this decision… then he will be the one to bring down his government.

10:10 –  It was just announced that Papandreou wants to set up a “ballot box” to his parliamentary group to ratify his decision to move ahead with the referendum.

10:20 – ALTER channel just announced that PASOK MPs are urging Papandreou to meet with main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras right away and agree to ratify the EU bailout plan with 180 votes (or two thirds of the Greek parliament) so that Papandreou will be obligated to withdraw the decision to hold a referendum.

10:30 – Former PASOK MP Mr. Kouroumbli called on George Papandreou to resign, and stated clearly that a temporary government is not the solution, the only solution right now is national elections.

10:30 – PASOK MP Eva Kaili just announced that she will not resign as MP, but she is not going to give Papandreou her confidence vote on Friday.

10:35 – It was just announced that Papandreou called for an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet at 12:00 noon.

10:45 – PASOK MP Sofia Giannaka just stated on a televised talk show on ALTER channel that Greece should first vote for the loan agreement, and then head for national elections. Asked if she would support Papandreou on the referendum, Giannaka failed to answer.

10:45 – PASOK MP Dimitris Lintzeris just said live from Parliament that political leaders must immediately form a temporary government of unity, directly asking George Papandreou to resign from his post as Prime Minister and leaving it to be understood that Papandreou is now nothing more… than “history”.

10:50 – With this last announcement the government of PASOK has lost its majority, and must immediately call for national elections. The only thing that remains is a formal announcement… which we will probably witness after the Cabinet convenes at noon. (if it convenes)

11:00 – In a televised report LAOS leader Mr. Karatzafereis just dropped a bombshell leaving it to be understood that the “key figure” to lead the temporary government is none other than former PASOK leader Costas Simitis! What is more, Angela Merkel proposed this to Papandreou yesterday at Cannes. (just the thought of this… gives us the heebie jeebies yuk!)

11:15 – It was just announced that the camp of Venizelos and the camp of Papandreou are meeting at this very minute before the Cabinet meeting at noon… to decide on what steps to take further. This is a weird development, since those supporting Venizelos said that when both men returned from Cannes early in the morning they were barely talking to each other.  Of course we here at hellasfrappe know how PASOK’s propaganda artists work, and do not trust the accidental leaks they give to the press, so we doubt that they were not speaking to eachother. They are just presenting it this way so that the passing of the ring (of power) to Venizelos is a smooth process.

11:30 – PASOK MP Theodora Tzakri just said that she will support Papandreou on all levels. We want to remind our readers that this is the same MP who was accused by a national newspaper for giving public sector jobs to half of her relatives (!!!). She notes that the future of the government and Papandreou should be decided only by the Parliamentary Group.

11:50 – An interesting article just appeared on the Olympia news siste, claiming that the decision to topple Papandreou was decided this morning by the trio Evagelos Venizelos, Mr. Reppas and Mr. Loverdos. More info on this interesting development soon.

12:10 – Before entering the Cabinet Meeting Minister of the Protection of the Citizen (Ministry of Order) declined to comment on whether or not Papandreou should resign. He said he wanted to listen to what Papandreou will say to his ministers first and then decide on his next move. This last statement is indeed strange because a report on a separate news site (fimotro) just said that Papandreou is being advised to withdraw his decision to move ahead with the referendum and stay in power. If this last bit of news is true, because the latter news site is not as credible as some believe, then this show, this performance by Papandreou indeed deserves an Oscar. On Monday he brought havoc on the global markets, on Tuesday he was slapped by Merkel and Sarkozy, on Wednesday he made Greeks looks like jack…sses at the G20 summit, and today he is going to pretend like nothing ever happened? This is insane. Keep tuning in the developments are becoming more interesting by the minute.

12:45 – News reports in Athens are saying that Papandreou will resign in a few hours as Prime Minister and leader of the PASOK party. The Cabinet is presently convening under the chairmanship Papandreou and it is suspected that following this he will formely make the announcement to his Parliamentary Group.

12:45 – In other unconfirmed reports it was just announced that Venizelos held talks with leading ministers from the main opposition New Democracy party to form a government of national salvation until national elections are held.

12:55 – President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias just issued a statement saying that he has no desire to call for a meeting of political leaders, and rather is just monitoring the developments from a distance. (For 350,000 euros a year… We can even do his job… the country is falling apart and Papoulias is monitoring developments… den pame kala katholoy).

13:00 – Press reports are now saying that main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras will make a televised announcement soon and propose a temporary government that will govern Greece for a specific time period but simultaneously organize national elections. Obviously this last bit of news means that Samaras did not accept Venizelos’ invitation to form a government of national unity.

13:40 – Unconfirmed press reports said that Papandreou does not want to resign and is challenging his deputies to topple him.

13:50 – A journalist from RealFM just said on ALTER channel that Papandreou will head to the President of the Republic Karolos following the Cabinet meeting. (Can this mean the end? Finally? Lets hope so)

13:55 – PASOK MP Dimitris Reppas told reporters a few minutes ago that Papandreou was is in an open line with Samaras on forming a government of national unity, but sources from Syggrou (or ND headquarters) are flatly denying these reports.

14:00 – Samaras just issued a statement asking George Papandreou to withdraw the referendum immediately. He called for national elections and said that the New Democracy party is Greece’s guarantee for Greek and European economic and political stability. He also said that he would support the Oct. 26 bailout plan if Papandreou resigned and elections were called.

14:10 – It is confirmed Papandreou is going to resign and national elections will be called as soon as he meets with Papoulias. However, reports are also claiming that he will remain as leader of the PASOK party.

14:20 – Uncomfirmed reports are saying that at the Ministry of Competitiveness hundreds of documents are being burnt. (Strange bit of news… but this is what usually happens when someone has something to hide… hmmm….)

14:40 – Foreign news agencies are at this moment broadcasting that the new coalition government until the run-up-to elections will be formed under ex-Bank of Greece governor Lucas Papademos.

15:20 – Prime Minister George Papandreou is now saying that he will not step down, he wants the vote of confidence to proceed as scheduled.

15:20 – Press reports are saying that a group of main opposition New Democracy deputues -said to still be loyal to Dora Bakoyanni- took an initiative and met with other deputies of the PASOK party calling for a unity government. The 30 or so
signatories wrote apparently wrote we consider the formation of a unity government
necessary to take over the implementation of national goals and lead the
country as soon as possible and securely to elections.

15:30 – PASOK MPs Dimitris Reppas and Mr. Athanasakis will be going to Syggrou to speak with the leadership of the main opposition New Democracy party to go over the details about a temporary government. Conclusion: Papandreou changed his mind YET AGAIN and is going to resign.

15:50 – The main opposition New Democracy party just rejected reports that it was ready to negotiate with Reppas and Athanasakis. They will only speak with the President of the Republic and not members of PASOK.

15:55 – WE just heard that George Papandreou changed his mind YET AGAIN and stated that he will not step down! (We need a sedative, this is too much even for us)

18:30- Papandreou says he arrived at the decision to hold a referendum as a solution
to form alliances. The sources said that that Eurogroup was preparing a “line
of defence” in case developments in Greece sparked a domino of
financial developments, working off ideas such as leveraging a European
Financial Stability Fund’s (EFSF) capital to more than 1 trillion euros.

 18:30 – Reports from the state news agency said that finance ministry officials – headed by George Zanias, the president of the economic advisors’ council – are in constant telephone contacts with Eurogroup technocrats, briefing them over political developments in the country.

18:30 – Papandreou began addressing his Cabinet largely giving the same speech as he has always given his cabinet. Here are some quotes as recorded by the state news agency:

  • We are bearing a cross and on top of that, they are throwing stones at us.”
  • We had three alternatives – the first, a catastrophic one, was to call early elections….the other alternative was the referendum…and the third solution was to achieve a wider consensus.”
  • Apart from the tone and the content of our (euro zone) partners… when they told us how to conduct our referendum, we were very clear it was a decision of a sovereign government. 
  • We may be under economic supervision but democratic institutions are ours.”
  • Why did the referendum create a surprise? Other government members and I had said that what was at stake was our membership in the euro. When we were saying this, they were calling us blackmailers. Yesterday there was confirmation of all that we were saying.”

19:30 – Speaking at a press conference in Cannes, French President Nikola Sarkozy told reporters that the message he and Germany’s Angela Merkel sent to Greece has helped achieve progress. He added that while he wants Greece to stay in the eurozone, Greece must show that it, too, wants to remain in it.

17:30 -Finance Minister and Vice Premier Evangelos Venizelos gave a speech here are  some of the highlights according to AMNA

  1. All necessary measures must be taken to receive the bailout from our partners and creditors. 
  2. At the same time the bailout should be approved by a majority of 180 lawmakers in the 300 seat parliament.
  3. Any plans of referendum should be scrapped.
  4. A consensus with New Democracy (ND) is on the cards and the chance to reach a common deal with the main opposition party seems a reality.
  5. Our banking system has to kept secured and guaranteed.
  6. Greece must receive the 6th tranche before December 15.
  7. Negotiations about the new bailout agreement with Troika need to be started as soon as possible.
  8.  “We need to work with our partners on the Public Sector Involvement to achieve, if possible, 100% participation in the debt haircut”.
  9. New bailout agreements need to be ready by January 12. Greek banks have raised 120 billion euros from European Central Bank so far.
  10. The bottom line is that the Greek people should decide about all the above

20:10 – Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras totally infuriated addresses the parliament as part of the lead up to the confidence vote tomorrow. He has asked Papandreou to step down and said that Papandreou would be ‘mistaken’ if he thought that the two could govern together. He has also called for snap elections in six weeks. New Democracy is leaving the parliamentary debate on the confidence motion. The consensus only lasted for a few hours.

20:30 –

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There is clearly no chance
of a consensus vote now. All eyes are focused on the confidence vote tomorrow. Currently leader of the Greek Communist Party Aleka Papariga is addressing Parliament.




(Please check periodically during the day to catch up on the latest developments)
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