Athens.- Greece’s left-wing main opposition party SYRIZA-EKM and the right-wing Independent Greeks party on Friday agreed to join forces and set up a “common social and political front to support Cyprus”, during a meeting between SYRIZA-EKM leader Alexis Tsipras and Ind. Greeks leader Panos Kammenos.
During the meeting, requested by Kammenos and held at Tsipras’ office in Parliament, they agreed on three points of potential cooperation but disagreed over a proposed censure motion against Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, initiated by Kammenos’ party.
The two parties have agreed to both demand that Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos appear in Parliament next Tuesday and answer claims made by a Cypriot politician that he had refused Cyprus’ request for 2.0 billion euros in financial aid from Greece, so that the island republic might avoid the current crisis.
As part of their “common social and political front” on developments in Cyprus, the two parties will also push for an off-the-agenda debate on the issue between the party leaders in Parliament. More generally, they intend to exert pressure on the government to allow Parliament to properly debate draft legislation and not flout the Parliamentary process.
Both parties were critical of the government’s stance toward legislative process, which they said effectively “abolished Parliamentary democracy and violated both the Constitution and Parliamentary rules”.
Kammenos and Tsipras criticised the Greek government’s response to Cyprus’ rejection of the Eurogroup bailout plan, saying it had not supported the Cypriot ‘no’ but “was in reality supporting Merkel and the Eurogroup in their suffocating pressure and blackmail of Cyprus”.
While admitting the yawning ideological gap between the two parties, Tsipras said that the present crisis demanded that all people rally behind a “broad front going beyond and outside political parties, a front for the support of the Cypriot people.”
“The Greek people must show that Cyprus is not alone, that the stance of the Greek government does not represent them, and this is the effort we will jointly undertake, so that this front finds expression on a Parliamentary level and, chiefly, on a social level,” SYRIZA’s leader added.
According to Kammenos, the message that the two parties wish to send to Cypriot Greeks is that “Cyprus is not far and the Greeks of Cyprus are not alone”.
In an acid comment on the collaboration announced earlier on Friday by Greece’s left-wing main opposition party SYRIZA-EKM led by Alexis Tsipras and the right-wing Independent Greeks party led by Panos Kammenos, the coalition government’s largest party New Democracy issued a press release saying that Tsipras “had finally been received by the only Greek politician capable of so deeply understanding his opinions.”
Opposition Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Friday commented that main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA-EKM) “has once again confirmed that it is a political party with a policy that favours monopolies, since it does not hesitate to collaborate with nationalists”.
“The masks are off,” the KKE statement underlined, referring to “the political cooperation in parliament between SYRIZA and opposition Independent Greeks, using as a pretext the support to the Cypriot people”.
Referring to SYRIZA, KKE stressed that “the new PASOK is being formed step by step” and wondered “what kind of negotiation they are advising the Cypriot people to make?”.
The PASOK party, referring to the meeting between Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras and Independent Greeks party president Panos Kammenos and all that was announced on common action between the two parties, stressed that Tsipras and Kammenos are maybe the only in Greece who do not realise what the dramatic experience Cyprus is going through, teaches us.
PASOK added that the day and the issue they chose to “declare their convergence will pursue them as an extreme sample of national irresponsibility, political provocation and bad reflexes.”
Lastly, PASOK noted “what more do they possibly want to happen for them to realise that their pointless bravados neither in Greece lead anywhere nor provide good services to Cyprus.”