ND weighs up the consequences of signing...
Embarrassment to the leadership of ND is caused by the signing of the new package of tough measures...
Officially, the ND leadership had still not received the 15-page text of measures attached to the PSI and the new loan agreement with the Troika’s requirements, until late on Tuesday.
Although the party spokesman states that Mr. Samaras did not participate in any behind-the-scenes negotiations, party sources stated that on Tuesday there were telephone conversations between the ND president and Lucas Papademos about the finalized measures text. On ND’s part, though, they denied that “the reduction in main pensions comes after Mr. Samaras’ refusal to accept a cut in the subsidiary pensions”. On the contrary, according to party sources, the proposal for a cut in the pensions came after the inability of PASOK ministers to make cuts in their ministries to cover the deficit of 3.5 bn for 2012.
In this context, there is no statement by ND on the reductions in social benefits such as the haircut in social benefits or the pensions of OTE and PPC employees, and neither on the proposal for mass redundancies and a lift in the permanent positions in public utilities through a legislative act. Throughout the day Mr. Samaras has been meeting with his colleagues and members of his economic staff.
The political management of Mr. Samaras’ consent to the harsh measures will cause a crack within the party, which is something that the main ND Staff is considering now. The “Defense line” was that “with the president’s steadfast position the 13th and 14th salaries were saved”, seems to have weakened after the understanding that the effect of agreeing to the lowering of the minimum wage has worse repercussions.
Already the trade unionists, which address the popular right of the party, have told the leadership not to sign, and they seem ready to ask the MPs not to vote for the measures. Party organizations are also strongly disagreeing, while the voters of the party are seriously discomfited, as they consider that the party leadership abandoned them by agreeing to the second memorandum.
The embarrassment of the staff and the growing reluctance of many MPs who are threatening not to vote on the package of measures in the House, makes it unclear whether Mr. Samaras will raise a party discipline issue. However, the parliamentary party groups are not functioning as closely intertwined, since the attitude of one does not affect the other.
In an attempt to rally his party, however, Mr. Samaras has announced that he will convene the Executive Secretariat, and subsequently the Parliamentary Group, after the meeting of political leaders.
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