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Next week will be decisive for Greece


The Greek coalition government is set to face an intense week ahead, with two key votes due to be held in parliament and the rising risk of the tri-alliance of parties forming it breaking apart.

The PASOK party is threatening to leave the three-party government without enough support for it to pass through the latest batch of tough austerity and reform measures demanded by the embattled nation’s lenders.

Encumbered Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is due to meet with 127 of his deputies on Monday ahead of the vote on structural reforms on Wednesday and the ballot for the 2013 national budget, which is due to be held on November the 11th. Samara’s faces a difficult task to try and convince the Greek parliament to support his plans and will be unsure that he will have the support of enough lawmakers to pass through the legislation. He and his aides are highly concerned by the crumbling support for the government’s privatization bill during a ballot on Wednesday. Only 148 of almost 180 coalition deputies backed the legislation paving the way for the sell-off of public utilities. The bill only passed because not all 300 MPs voted.

The other party’s that comprise the government are also facing rebellions with the Democratic Left not backing the bill and publicly announcing that it will reject the reforms unless changes are made to the labour regulations proposed by the troika of the International monetary fund, European Central Bank and European commission. The PASOK party has already lost one lawmaker and is seeing a potential rebellion of six more ahead of the vote. If both parties do seen open resistance o the measures then Samaras could only be left with 153 votes, that figure could be worse if more opposition surfaces.

Samaras must win the vote if Greece is to receive the next batch of bailout money from the troika. Critics have accused the body of effectively blackmailing the Greek government to implement their plans for austerity. If Greece does not comply then they will withhold the cash causing the nation to run of cash before the end of the year, a situation that would certainly lead to anarchy.

The main opposition party, SYRIZA, experienced its own turmoil yesterday after parliamentary spokesman Panayiotis Lafazanis suggested the leftists were not in a position to form the next government. “We are not ready to govern,” he told ANT1 TV. “I refuse to fool people.”

The statement prompted party supporters to ring SYRIZA headquarters to complain and elicited an immediate response from leader Alexis Tsipras. “We are ready to avert disaster,” he said. “We are ready to take on the responsibility of rebuilding the country.”

As of 12:00 pm

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