first_imgThe stability of the tripartite government coalition in Greece remains in the balance as the third meeting on Thursday between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his junior partners, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis of Democratic Left, lead to Mr Kouvelis indicating that he might withdraw from the government. “No common ground was found” on the issue of ERT, the leader of the Democratic Left said, adding that the restructuring of the national broadcaster must be carried out with ERT open. “For us it is an issue of democratic legitimacy,” Mr Kouvelis added. Noting that the situation was “extremely critical”, Mr Venizelos said that PASOK wanted stability and not elections. “We want the government to continue as a three-party government and we want Democratic Left to be part of it,” he said. The PASOK leader repeated calls for ERT to reopen “immediately”, adding that the “status and outlook of the coalition” as well as its program agreement must be examined again. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, in a televised address to the nation after the conclusion of the meeting of the coalition leaders, stated that no one wants an early election and that for the good of the Greek people he is determined to run a full term government. He also called upon Mr Kouvelis to reconsider his position. Furthermore, he promised a new ERT, a re-examination of the political agreement of the Coalition partners and better coordination of his own government, hinting that he would go to a reshuffle of his Ministry. If the Democratic Left ultimately decides to leave the tripartite government, a two party government between New Democracy and PASOK would command the support of 153 MPs, instead of 168 MPs, in the 300 member Greek Parliament. During the political upheaval, a large crowd of dismissed ERT employees and supporters gathered for yet another night outside the broadcaster’s headquarters for a protest rally, while others gathered outside the premises of the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court. The court reiterated again that the national broadcaster has to re-open. Earlier on Thursday there was upheaval in Parliament with deputies from the left opposition parties SYRIZA and KKE (Communist Party) as well as the right-wing anti-bailout Independent Greeks party leaving the House in protest at the government’s decision not to discuss a KKE amendment on the closure of ERT. In a related development, the government decided to temporarily suspend a license fee for public radio and television, which is raised via electricity bills, until a new public broadcaster has been set up.* Since this article went to print: The Democratic Left party ultimately  decided to leave the ruling coalition and to withdraw from the government its two ministers  and other officials.  An announcement of a new coalition government made up by New Democracy and PASOK is expected early this week. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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