June 13, 2016
Civil protest against Syriza
While Alexis Tsipras is about to change focus on a new agenda for electoral and constitutional reform, momentum us building up against his government, at least according to different reports we picked up this morning. New elections are not at the horizon, however, at least for now.
A citizen protest organised through Facebook and other social media under the hashtag #paraititheite (“resign”) will be rallying in Athens this Wednesday. One of the organisers said the aim was to discredit the leftist-led government, and not to question the political system per se Kathimerini reports. Last week, comments of Education Minister Nikos Filis suggesting they were “on the verge of constitutional legality caused a stir in the social media and opposition politicians to come out as supporter.
Calls for the government to resign re-emerge also from the opposition while other parties are getting closer to join their forces for the next elections. New Democracy vice president Costis Chatzidakis said yesterday that the demand for new elections is still on the table and that the government cannot avoid it, according to Greek Reporter.
Pasok and To Potami, meanwhile, are preparing to present their common policy platform, Macropolis reports. Though both leaders were not particularily enthousiastic about this initially, To Potami lost several MPs to New Democracy recently, prompting the leader Stavros Theodorakis to exclude any alliance with New Democracy. Also, George Papandreou is appearing on the scene again, suggesting that he could return to Pasok if the party transforms.
And there is evidence of civil disobedience, as tax evasion in Greece continues to grow, especially after the latest VAT tax hike, according to this article. Several restaurants start to offer two menus, one with and one without VAT. It does not help that the finance ministry is late with its law for compulsory card payment transactions, nor that card payments are hardly ever checked against the cash register.
The latest Kapa poll for To Vima shows that voters are against early elections. 52.5% of the participants said that more time should be given to the government to complete its work. If elections were held today, New Democracy would lead with 20.8% against 17.3%.
Greek Reporter refers to the same poll, but with different numbers (ND 30.8%, Syriza 25.6%) noting that Zoe Kontantopoulou‘s newly founded party “Pleusi Elefterias” (Course of Freedom) would make it in the Parliament with 3.2%.