Friday, 4 November 2011

Papandreou survives vote of confidence

The Pasok government has won its vote of confidence, comfortably in the end, without defections – 153-144 –  after a very good apologia from PM Giorgos Papandreou, in which he said he would try and form a coalition government – and accepting the possibility that it would be without him at the helm; a government that would see through the 26 October haircut agreement before resigning – February-March time – when a general election would be held. Antonis Samaras, the appalling leader of the conservative opposition, New Democracy, immediately ruled out participating in such a coalition government and insisted on elections being held on 4 December. So, if it’s not possible to form a coalition government – and the vitriolic Samaras was adamant that it was not – then presumably Papandreou will have the constitutional and political authority to continue as prime minister – until March, and beyond? After the humiliating week he’s had – in which his resignation appeared imminent and inevitable – Papandreou’s success tonight is remarkable, even if, given the multiple crises facing Greece and the inherent weakness of the government in dealing with them, it proves to be only a fleeting triumph.

* I note Yanis Varoufakis is calling Papandreou’s plea – allow me to continue as PM while I (pretend) to usher in a more broadly-based government – his ‘Mubarak Strategy’ and suggesting that the idea of a national unity government will go the same way as the referendum. 

No comments: