June 15, 2011
Earlier today, we reported about Kozani Alekos Athanasiadis, a member of parliament for the Greek ruling PASOK party, who in a radio interview said that he would vote against the medium-term program. Next up is Giorgos Lianis who has just tendered his resignation as a member of Pasok’s central committee, but is keeping his parliament seat and will continue to serve as an independent, leaving the ruling Pasok party with 155 MPs. Athens News reports: “Commenting on the public anger over the austerity measures on the Alter television channel late last year, Lianis had declared his intention to leave politics in order to be able to safely “walk the streets.” It is uncler what the state of the other 155 or so PASOK members will be when walking the streets should they indeed proceed to go ahead and vote on the medium-term fiscal program, whose discussions begin tomorrow and which is expected to see a vote on June 28. Elsewhere both the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) announced that they will refrain from all Parliamentary procedures that concern the Mid-Term Fiscal Strategy, including participation in the competent committee and the Parliamentary plenary session. A statement issued underlined that “the anti-popular monstrosity is condemned and voted down because it serves the interests of plutocracy and levels off the rights of the workers and the people.”
More details on Lianis’ decision from Protothema:
Mr. Lianis is expected to make a public statement during the day. At the same time a government communiqué is also expected.
“I no longer believe in the economic policies that we have followed. Since we failed, we have been trying to hide the truth from the people”, states the four-page letter from the Florian MP.
“Everyone now admits that our economic policy was wrong. It is up to us to admit our mistake. It is up to us to apologize to the Greek people and to radically change our policies, as hard as that may prove”, he states.
Mr. Lianis notes that he voted for Memorandum 1, thinking that otherwise, Greece would go bankrupt and thousands of Greeks would remain unpaid.
“If the medium-term plan is the only thing that can save Greece from destruction, it should be decided on by a nationwide commitment of all parties and all Greeks”, he said.
“It would be wonderful for three or four parliament members to be able to save the country each time. Wonderful is one step away from ridiculous. I cannot be coerced to enter the same process again (…). Voting is coercive, and they should be anything but that. I cannot bear the Sisyphic burden that you are putting on our shoulders, while at the same time you baptize us as the country’s saviors. This is hypocritical”, states Mr. Lianis in the letter.
The MP also mentions the situation of his county, complaining that Florian has the highest unemployment rate in Greece and the European Union. Its train line has been denied since the line between Thessaloniki and Florina was described as sterile. Two sections of the university were closed reducing the students in the county by 2000. Mines are closed, the dam covering ten villages worth of water requirement has been shut down.
“Maybe we are talking about two types of borders” states Giorgos Lianis. “Achievemetns of 25 years of labour, made under your own contribution are either shrunk to nothingness of auctioned off”, he underlines, referring directly to the Prime Minister.
“Mr. President, we have humiliated, hurt and wronged the Greek people. A proud people, full of fighting spirit. That’s why the people humiliate us now. We have hurt and wronged Florina. I feel the urge to apologize to the Greeks and my compatriots. We have taken human dignity away from them”, he includes in his statement.
Last but not least, Mr. Lianis states that he does not intend to run in the upcoming elections and does not intend to resign. “It is neither fitting to my personal believes nor to the voters of Florina, that I would set another parliament member representative of the country. That will only be up to the people of the county in the elections”.
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Lastly, a third PASOK member appears to have also resigned in symbolic revolt over what increasingly more even within the ruling party are realizing is treason of their own people:
The resignation of former MP and minister Antonis Kotsakas from the PASOK National Council had preceded Mr. Lianis’. In a statement towards the Prime Minister stated that he is quitting “the party formerly known as PASOK”, clarifying that “I am not leaving the party. The party left itself”.
All this is happening as all eyes turn to Athens tomorrow, where a general strike is expect to paralyze the country, and hundreds of thousands will be piling in front of the Parliament as the protest meetings, so far peaceful, now enter into their 3 week.