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article imageOp-Ed: Greek politicians confident a coalition government will be formed

By Katerina Nikolas     Jun 19, 2012 in World
Athens - New Democracy, the pro-bailout party which swept to a narrow victory in Sunday's Greek elections, has said it is confident that a coalition government will be formed on Tuesday.
Greece is in desperate need of a committed government, having hung in limbo with a caretaker government since elections in May failed to produce a workable coalition. In second elections New Democracy (ND) failed to garner enough support to form a government so must negotiate a coalition with rival political parties.
Athens News quoted a ND spokesman who said on Monday evening "We are going to clinch a deal tomorrow, we will form a government ... PASOK will participate more than symbolically ... They will participate actively."
Of course political talk in Greece is cheap and politicians have a long tradition of putting their own interests before that of the electorate. Having stated on Sunday that PASOK will not join a coalition government that does not include SYRIZA, the anti-bailout party which came second and refuses to be part of any coalition that involves pandering to European diktats on austerity, PASOK now appears to have done an about-turn and is willing to ditch that condition. It seemed implausible that PASOK would follow through on such a condition as their desire to be part of government is too strong, and their leader Evangelos Venizelos too fond of his role in the European Union.
Ekathimerini reports ND, PASOK and Democratic Left are "poised to agree on the formation of a coalition government Tuesday." Fotis Kouvelis, leader of Democratic Left, had the power in his hands following the May election to proceed with a coalition but insisted his party would only join a coalition that included SYRIZA. Now he appears to have dropped that condition, replacing it with the condition that a coalition government must reflect his party's position on an orderly exit from the memorandum. Most of Democratic Left members favor the party joining the government.
If Kouvelis does indeed agree to join a government on that basis he could have done so six weeks ago and saved the country the extra €35 million of second elections.
Anthonis Samaras, leader of ND, holds a mandate for three days to form a government. It is likely that self-interest on the part of politicians keen to get back into parliament and draw their over inflated wages will win the day and a third election will be avoided.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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