Rapid developments in PASOK, with the medium-term plan as the backdrop. As it became known on Tuesday afternoon...Rapid developments in PASOK, with the medium-term plan as the backdrop. As it became known on Tuesday afternoon, Giorgos Lianis resigned from the Parliamentary Group of the ruling party, sending a letter to the Prime Minister, George Papandreou.
The declaration of his independence includes reasons of conscience and statements that he no longer believes in the economic policies being followed. Mr. Lianis is expected to make a public statement during the day. At the same time, a government statement is also expected.
“I no longer believe in the economic policies that we have followed. Since we failed, we have been trying to hide the truth from the people”, states the four-page letter from the Florina MP.
“Everyone now admits that our economic policy was wrong. It is up to us to admit our mistake. It is up to us to apologize to the Greek people and radically change our policies, as hard as that may prove”, he states.
Mr. Lianis notes that he voted for Memorandum1 thinking that otherwise, Greece would go bankrupt and thousands of Greeks would remain unpaid.
“If the medium-term plan is the only thing that can save Greece from destruction, it should be decided on by a nationwide commitment of all parties and all Greeks”, he said.
“It would be wonderful for three or four parliament members to be able to save the country each time. Wonderful is one step away from ridiculous. I cannot be coerced into enring the same process again (…). Voting is coercive, and it should be anything but that. I cannot bear the Sisyphean burden that you are putting on our shoulders, while at the same time baptizing us the country’s saviors. This is hypocritical”, states Mr. Lianis in the letter.
The MP also mentions the situation of his county, complaining that Florina has the highest unemployment rate in Greece and the European Union. Its train line has been turned down since the line between Thessaloniki and Florina was described as unprofitable. Two sections of the university were closed, reducing the students in the prefecture by 2000. Mines have been shut down and the dam supplying ten villages' worth of water needs has been shut down.
“Maybe we are talking about two types of borders” states Giorgos Lianis. “The achievements of 25 years of labour, made under your own contribution, are either shrunk to nothingness or auctioned off” he underlines, referring directly to the Prime Minister.
“Mr. President, we have humiliated, hurt and wronged the Greek people, a proud people, full of fighting spirit. That’s why the people are humiliating us now. We have hurt and wronged Florina. I feel the urge to apologize to the Greeks and my compatriots. We have taken human dignity away from them”, he includes in his statement.
Last but not least, Mr. Lianis states that he does not intend to run in the upcoming elections and does not intend to resign either. “It is neither befitting my personal beliefs nor the voters of Florina, that I would be replaced by another parliament member as the representative of the prefecture. That will only be up to the people of the prefecture in the elections”.
The government remains embarrassed
The government is in a state of complete embarrassment. Government officials reserve the right to reply later, which is an indication of surprise.
Mr. Lianis had already stated he would not run again in the future, ignoring all the attempts of the party to reassure him.
The government has already voiced concern about Wednesday’s meeting of PASOK’s Parliamentary Labour Economics Department.
Furthermore, according to information, a new letter of protest is being prepared for the Prime Minister.
Mr. Lianis’ decision is added to a “chain” of reactions against the Medium Term Plan, which is in progress within the ruling party.
The resignation of former MP and minister Antonis Kotsakas from the PASOK National Council had preceded Mr. Lianis’. In a statement to the Prime Minister , he stated that he is quitting “the party formerly known as PASOK”, clarifying that “I am not leaving the party. The party has left itself”.
Also taking place on Tuesday morning was Kozani PASOK MP Alekos Athanasiadis’ statements: “I am not voting for the Medium Term Plan and I take full responsibility for my decisions”.
A question of parliamentary procedure
Meanwhile, a major issue concerning parliamentary procedure has arisen, since members of KKE and SYRIZA will not be attending parliament.
The possibility of abstention is also high within LAOS, with many MPs saying that the process including only PASOK and ND is not democratically appropriate.