The Greek government passed the second omnibus bill required for the negotiations on the third bailout package, but the rift within SYRIZA remains as 36 MPs voted against.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has tried to minimize losses from his own party but still faces strong opposition from the party’s left platform. Only three out of the 39 dissidents of the first vote the previous week switched camps and voted “yes” to the bill.
Government spokesperson Olga Gerovasili announced after the completion of the vote that the government from now on “will focus all attention on negotiations in order to complete the Agreement.” When asked about the SYRIZA dissidents, she said: “The rift in the Parliamentary Group is clear, I think. From here on out we will follow collective procedures to solve the political problem.”
State Minister Nikos Pappas stated after the bill passed: “The government will now proceed to close the deal, after the prerequisites are completed.”
“Unfortunately,” he added, “the rift is confirmed, but I think that after the agreement is completed, our (party) collective bodies will look at the problem.”
Meanwhile, Panagiotis Lafazanis, the left platform chief, said that all is well and that it is natural to have opposing views in a radical leftist party. He told reporters that in SYRIZA “our differences unite us.”
Varoufakis jumps to “yes” camp
It was a surprise to many that Yanis Varoufakis switched camps and voted “yes” on the second set of required reforms.
After giving several interviews all week declaring that he is convinced the third bailout will not work out because the reforms required cannot be implemented and they will not bear results, the former finance minister voted for the reforms.
Varoufakis wrote in thepresproject.gr: “I voted ‘yes’ to two measures which I proposed myself, although under radically different circumstances and conditions.”
“I am, unfortunately, convinced that my vote will not help the government to our common cause. This is because the agreement signed in the Euro Summit, which integrates both of tonight’s measures, is designed to fail. However, I give my vote to my comrades in the hope they gain time so that, all of us united, plan our new resistance to authoritarianism, to misanthropism, and to the calculated and accelerated deepening of the crisis,” he wrote.
Along with Varoufakis, two other SYRIZA MPs voted for the omnibus bill, while they had voted ‘no’ to the first set of reforms.