Greek Parliament president refers to … coup! Opposes bailout measures

Govt spokeswoman: Split within ruling SYRIZA party possibly ‘unavoidable’

The latest obstacle in the vote for a second package of prior actions via an emergency procedure emerged ominously on Wednesday in the form of non other than Parliament President Zoe Konstantopoulou, a high-profile SYRIZA cadre who appears on a direct collision course with the SYRIZA government and PM Alexis Tsipras.

In fact, later in the afternoon, Konstantopoulou went so far as to refer to “coup instigators”!
“Those who instigated coup d’etats in history are well known, and certainly they are not the ones that guarded the institutions (i.e. Parliament procedure,” she said in arriving for a scheduled meeting of political leaders in Parliament.

“As a SYRIZA MP I could never vote for this draft bill; as the head of the (party’s) justice sector in the previous period (when SYRIZA was in the opposition) I could never vote for this draft bill; as president of Parliament I could never legitimize procedures that render Parliament a mere decoration, annul Parliament’s guarantor status and contravene deputies’ conscience,” Konstantopoulou underlined in earlier statements.

“What kind of leftist government is this?” she asked in another point in her address.
No less than 32 MPs of ruling SYRIZA, primarily from the party’s far-leftist wings, have expressed opposition to the latest bailout agreement with European creditors.

Konstantopoulou, an outspoken leftist political maverick, also sent a letter to Tsipras and Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, criticizing the urgent process under which the current draft bills are being debated and voted on.

Split possibly ‘unavoidable’

Speaking earlier on a local Athens-based radio station, new government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said a “divorce” within ruling SYRIZA — with pro-agreement MPs on one side and an anti-bailout bloc on the other — may now be unavoidable.

A day after PM Alexis Tsipras’ public “dressing down” of former ministers Yanis Varoufakis and Panagiotis Lafazanis — the top two dissenters from his previous Cabinet — the government spokeswoman said that “the fact that careless voices are being heard without an applicable counter-proposal obviously cannot be accepted. The prime minister has spoken openly about the plan that he himself negotiated,” she told Alpha radio.