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Greek Coalition Gov't Rocky as More MPs Might Jump Ship

tsipras_skefAs the second omnibus bill that includes unpopular measures left the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition with two parliamentary members less, there is worry at Maximos Mansion that when the next bill comes to parliament for vote more lawmakers would depart.
The Alexis Tsipras government managed to pass the bill with the prior actions required by the bailout program for the disbursement of 2 billion euros in financial aid and 10 billion euros for bank recapitalization.
SYRIZA lawmaker Stathis Panagoulis did not appear in the House for the crucial vote and Tsipras ousted him from the party. Likewise, ANEL leader Panos Kammenos crossed out MP Nikos Nikolopoulos who voted against the omnibus bill.
The bill included measures that do not protect the primary residence from auctioning for hundreds of thousands of households in debt. Protecting households in debt from foreclosure was one of the main promises the two coalition parties based their election campaigns in September. However, the bill passed protects only those who are poor or jobless, roughly 25 percent of people whose homes are in danger of foreclosure.
Next month more harsh measures will have to pass in parliament, such as more taxes on farmers, pension cuts, security fund restructuring and wage cuts in the public sector. There is fear within government circles that the fragile majority of 153 lawmakers in the 300-strong parliament is in danger.
Sources from inside the parliament speak of three SYRIZA lawmakers who strongly oppose the new measures, but voted in favor of the bill in order to maintain party stability. However, the new harsh measures that will be voted on next month will bring them against their constituents. Thereby, the number of party dissenters might increase.
The departure of Gavriil Sakellaridis from the party had only a minor political cost on SYRIZA as his seat was taken by another SYRIZA lawmaker. However, the Panagoulis defection who didn’t give up his seat but kept it as an independent lawmaker was very costly.
Since the pre-election SYRIZA pledges are on the opposite end from the actual policies implemented, more ruling party MPs might defect in the near future as more and more Greek people begin expressing their disaffection with the government, as the recent general strike or the farmers demonstration showed.

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