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European satisfaction, polling doubts

Ικανοποίηση από την Ευρώπη, προβληματισμός για τις δημοσκοπήσεις

ND was satisfied by the European People’s Party acceptance of Mr. Antonis Samaras, after the about-turn he made with his...

ND was satisfied by the European People’s Party acceptance of Mr. Antonis Samaras, after the about-turn he made with his participation in the Papademos government and abandonment of the anti-memorandum line.

During his presence in the general meeting of the EPP last week, Mr. Samaras revealed his ideological position of speaking for social liberalism, left aside by the earlier rhetoric to renegotiate or amend the memoranda, and stressed the need for fiscal discipline accompanied by development.

The need to develop, he stated, is even more imperative for Greece, which should not be in a recession for five straight years. The blue team argues that the anti-memorandum policy was justified, but the about-turn was required by the new realities in Europe and our country.

There is concern due to opinion polls which give a true safe lead to ND and create confidence that it will be the leading party when the elections occur, but they show no prospect of autonomy. People of the President appear optimistic and state that citizens will finally appreciate Mr. Samaras’ stance, and say that many things will be judged during the short pre-election period, when the attitude of many undecided voters will be defined.

The uncertainty of the polls, combined with the EU developments and the fact that the October 26 agreement is the raison d'être of the Papademos government, is in the air, triggering new scenarios within the party. Officially, the party leadership insists that the goal is to sign the agreement and have the elections on February 19th, as agreed upon. However, it is apparent that the Papademos government is one which will negotiate broader measures in European decision-making for the long term financial stability of the country.

Mr. Samaras seems to accept tacitly the new reality which has emerged, suggesting that the date of elections is not a taboo. ND officials, however, are less cautious and state that “it is preferable that the measures that concern our country are decided upon by a government of three parties, and not borne by ND alone the day after the elections”. Some, based on the polls, state that even after the elections it would be better that there is a coalition government, with society’s consensus, which will implement the measures to be taken. It will be easier for a broader front to implement said decisions, and not a single party which will be facing a united Left and a tired, angry society. That which they do not publicly admit is that the European developments make the country’s stay within the Eurozone doubtful, and no party should want to face the threat of exit alone.

Under these considerations, there are clusters developing within ND which disrupt unity and de facto destabilize the operations of leadership. After the five neoliberal parliamentarians’ team made up of Kiriakos Mitsotakis, Aris Spiliotopoulos, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Vangelis Antonaros and Kostis Hatzidakis, there was another team of five social liberals, Kostas Markopoulos, Kostas Tzavaras, Kostas Gioulekas, Maria Kollia and Eliza Vozenberg, who stated that they are focusing on the party’s social character. The president’s people, however, understate the issue since they say that the two teams can play five on five since “in ND, there is only one team, which includes all members of the party under Antonis Samaras”.
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