These are tough times for George Papandreou. The resignations of two prominent members of his socialist government have thrown the Greek Prime Minister’s plans to reshuffle his cabinet into disarray.
The ongoing political and social turmoil has also cast vital plans for fresh austerity measures into doubt. Addressing parliament, Papandreou vowed to stick with the reforms and continue to push for broader political consensus.
Ektoras Nasiakos was one of two deputies who resigned during a debate in parliament. He told politicians that the country was being led down a dangerous route and while their children’s future looked bleak, the political leadership was set on this course based on what he termed ‘irresponsibility and populism’.
The pressure is on for Papandreou to form a new governing team and get the package approved.
There are accusations of a lack of leadership. Deputies are reportedly trying to force a caucus meeting of the parliamentary group.
The EU Commission has warned the austerity plans must be in place before Athens gets any more money. Whether Papandreou can force them through given the extent of the political chaos and atmosphere of civil discontent in Greece remains to be seen.