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Posted on: September 7th, 2012 by AlYunaniya Staff No Comments

Coalition partners at odds ahead of Troika arrival

Samaras-Venizelos

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Prime Minister Antonis Samaras gave the “green light” yesterday evening for a coalition leaders meeting Sunday afternoon, despite initial programming that placed it towards the middle of next week, Tovima.gr reports. Samaras, who gave clear instructions to his colleagues not to comment on the content of a PASOK non paper –which included criticism towards the Premier- will have extensive discussions with both government partners, Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis.

According to Kathimerini, both Venizelos and Kouvelis are reportedly insisting on meeting with Samaras to sign off on the austerity package for 2013 and 2014 before government officials present the blueprint to foreign envoys. Venizelos and Kouvelis object to some of the more burdensome measures, with the latter reportedly proposing additional cuts to defense and health spending so that pension cuts can be softened.

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos yesterday criticised Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, for acting without his coalition partners’ endorsement. Venizelos argued that the Greek administration “is not a one-party government” and repeated his call for coalition leaders to sign off a new package of austerity measures before it is presented to foreign creditors.

In an interview with Real radio station, Venizelos described PASOK’s role within the government as “encouraging, supporting and monitoring.” The statement came a few days after sources close to Samaras indicted that Venizelos was seen to be distancing himself from the tough decisions the government is preparing to take to secure crucial rescue funding, Kathimerini writes.

In his interview, Venizelos insisted that the austerity package should not be made public before all party leaders have rubber-stamped it. “The measures will not be announced before we discuss them,” he said. “How can they be announced just like that?” he said.

The meeting betwen the coalition partners will take place on the eve of the meeting of the Prime Minister with representatives of the troika, which is scheduled for Monday morning, and next Tuesday’s trip of Samaras in Frankfurt, where he will meet the European Central Bank head Mario Draghi.

This afternoon, the Prime Minister will meet with the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy (4 p.m.), while preparing for his visit Saturday morning in Thessaloniki for the inauguration of the International Fair, where he will make a short speech.

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