Yesterday, Wednesday and today Thursday 16 June 2011 we are witnessing an unprecedented tsunami of developments on the Greek political stage.
After the police intervention in Syntagma Square and the return of the “enraged” a little later and in larger numbers Mr. Papandreou had a telephone conversation with New Democracy President Antonis Samaras as well as with all the other political leaders. While there were no official statements a war of rumours started: “the Prime Minister will resign”, “a new government of national unity will be sworn soon”, “the finance Minister has resigned”.
At the same time two well known PASOK members of Parliament resigned their seats.
At about 10 o’clock Mr. Papandreou on a televised message to the Greek people announced a government reshuffle instead of a government of national unity with a different Prime Minister. His explanation for his change of heart was the way the opposition used his proposal. Indirectly he blamed New Democracy party for the leaks and rumours which forced him to change his mind. Mr. Samaras’ statement, which followed within minutes, was much clearer. Mr.Samaras verified the rumours about the agreement between him and Mr. Papandreou for a government of national unity which would lead to the re-negotiation of both the Midterm programme and the Mnemonium; an agreement which the Prime Minister later rejected. “A great, historical opportunity was lost” he added and finished with the sentence: “It is now clear that only the Greek people can now give a solution”.
This morning one of the best known PASOK Parliamentarians and former Minister of Finances for a long time, Ms. Vasso Papandreou asked the Prime Minister to convene the PASOK parliamentary group. While she was busy collecting the necessary signatures Mr. Papandreou decided to call a meeting of the Members of Parliament of his group and address them. The embattled spirit that seemed to reign among the parliamentarians prior to the meeting disappeared before the Prime Minister and no more resignations were announced.
A government reshuffle is expected from moment to moment and scenarios are rife. All state and private channels are now busy with gossip about who will be in the government. They have utterly forgotten the thousands of people camping outside the Parliament Building and protesting against the harsh measures. The disdain shown towards the “enraged of Syntagma” by both the mass media and part of the political world is really outrageous and cannot lead to anything useful.
As for the reshuffle Mr. Papandreou seems to be acting like the old card sharps: he is trying to keep all his 52 cards on the table in order to keep everyone happy. I doubt his ability at cards is worse than his politics.