Left-wing opposition party SYRIZA is optimistic that it will manage to gather 120 signatures from Parliament Members in order to demand a referendum on the issue of the privatization of 30% of the Public Power Corporation, the bill on the so-called ‘Small DEI’.
According to the latest developments, SYRIZA party members have already got the ‘go ahead’ from all independent MPs as well as from the majority of MPs of the Democratic Left party and Independent Greeks party. However, Democratic Left Central Committee convenes this afternoon in order to assess its overall stance on the matter and its head, Fotis Kouvelis, is expected to make an announcement after the meeting. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is also quite positive in signing the relevant initiative of SYRIZA party to call for a referendum.
If 120 signatures are gathered on this issue, then the Parliamentary Plenary will meet (most probably this coming weekend) to hold a referendum. However, it must be noted that in order of the referendum to be implemented, the Greek Constitution requires 180 votes (and not just the 120 votes needed in order to call for a referendum).
Parliament President, Vangelis Meimarakis. said that he is determined to follow the Constitution, and if the demand is made, he will call on the Scientific Council of the Greek Parliament to give its own opinion on the matter.
The opposition is clearly attempting to turn the privatization plans for the PPC into yet another referendum on the government. SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is openly linking his proposed referendum on the PPC with an attempt to overthrow the coalition government.
Tsipras is using the issue as a test for the upcoming Presidential election process in a few months, where he will try to build a coalition to stop the majority’s attempt to gather 180 votes for the election of a new president from the existing parliament.