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Greek Parliament: tiny majority in favor of the Troïka
by Nikolaos Chountis
8 November 2012

A brief information notice on the situation in Greece, written yesterday night by our [Syriza] Europen Policy Department in order to inform comrades and friends in the rest of Europe.

Tonight, and after a completely anti-constitutional “express process” that lasted for less than 24 hours, the Greek Parliament voted for the new austerity measures prescribed in the 800 pages (!) of the 3rd Memorandum (cuts of 13,5 billion Euro).

The second day of the 48-hour general strike of the trade-unions reached its momentum today, after 17.00 local time, when more than 100.000 demonstrators gathered on Syntagma Square and surrounded the Parliament.

Heavy rain did not prevent the citizens of Athens from joining the demonstration.

During the demonstration, the 71 MPs of SYRIZA USF temporarily left the Room of the Parliament, holding a banner with the slogan “You destroyed the country! Leave now!” and joined the demonstrators on the Square.

But the Riot Police did everything possible to “clean up” the Square before the time of the final vote: Water cannons (first time that they were used in Greece), stun grenades and extensive use of tear-gas.

In total there were more than 100 arrests and at least 5 injured demonstrators.

The voting process ended at around 00:30 am local time.The 3rd Memorandum has been ratified.

MPs that voted: 299/300
Absent: 1/300 (Kostas Skandalidis, profound member of the leadership of PASOK)

Since 1 MP was absent and 299 voted in total, the government needed a 150/299 majority instead of the normal 151/300.

RESULTS:

In favor: 153/299
126 New Democracy
27 PASOK

Against: 128/299
71 SYRIZA USF
20 Independent Greeks
18 Golden Dawn
12 KKE
3 Democratic Left (against the official position of their party)
2 PASOK (against the official position of their party)
3 independents

Blank vote (“Present”): 18/299
13 Democratic Le ft (the official position of the party)
3 PASOK (against the official position of their party)
1 New Democracy (against the official position of his party)

Absent: 1/300 (on purpose, against the official position of his party, PASOK)

Immediately after the announcement of the result, the leaders of New Democracy (Mr Samaras) and PASOK (Mr Venizelos) expelled 7 MPs from their Parliamentary Groups, for not voting in favor of the measures (6 from PASOK and 1 from New Democracy).

The battle continues with the next crucial vote, on Sunday (11/11): Budget 2013.

Until Sunday there will be consecutive demonstrations all over the country.
Nikolaos Chountis
MEP SYRIZA - GUE/NGL
Brussels ASP 07F243
+3222845663
Strasbourg LOW T05016
+33388175663
Athens
+302103378530


Nikolaos Chountis