Greece: Papandreou government hangs by a thread

15 June 2011
To Ethnos

, 15 June 2011

The government of George Papandreou “is hanging by a thread”, leads Eleftherotypia, responding to the resignation from the socialist group of MP George Lianis in protest against the new austerity plan – €28.4 billion in cuts – which must be voted on at the end of the month and whose adoption is essential for qualifying for financial aid from the EU and the IMF. With the resignation the government’s parliamentary majority drops to 155 seats out of 300. That majority could erode, writes the Athens daily, as “some Socialist deputies have received anonymous threats warning them not to vote on the austerity plan.” For that reason, the paper said, “the Prime Minister may risk a reshuffle in the coming days or call an election.” Forming a unity government is increasingly being discussed, particularly at To Ethnos, as a step that may ease tensions between Athens and its European partners and within Greek society itself. “On this day of the general strike,” writes To Ethnos, “the social climate is explosive”, adding that “the country is paralysed and out on the street.” Unions and the ‘outraged’ are coming together to shout out their despair, and even to block the entrance to the Parliament and prevent members from voting on the austerity plan.