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Main Greek Opposition Party To Vote Against Austerity Measures

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

The primary Greek opposition party to the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK, which currently has a Parliamentary majority) has announced in Greek daily Ekathimerini that it would vote against the Austerity bill, thereby splitting a tenuous and brief period of consensus with the ruling party. The conservative New Democracy, which controls a mere 91 Parliamentary seats (out of 300 total) has said it “will only back certain articles of the draft law when it is voted on in Parliament today.” Just more political posturing, or a catalyst for even greater social unrest? Keep an eye out on the euro for hints (so far, none).

ND leader Antonis Samaras made his most outspoken attack yet on the government shortly after the measures were announced Wednesday, labeling them an “asphyxiating mixture” of policies. Samaras said he would not cut civil servants’ pay but would instead increase taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and fuel while also cutting back on the operational costs of the public sector.

He criticized PASOK for not taking measures earlier and admitted that ND had made mistakes when it was in government but underlined that the party is now under new leadership.

The conservatives have also tried to take a neutral stand on the protests by unions, who have planned a series of protests. Party spokesman Panos Panayiotopoulos refrained yesterday from criticizing the unions, saying they are free to act independently.

The PASOK retort was expected: after all we have been seeing it here in the US well over one year into the current administration – it is all the other guy’s fault.

PASOK responded to ND’s criticism by reminding people that it inherited the country’s fiscal problems from a conservative government. “It is a bit late now for New Democracy to give us economics lessons,” said government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis.

Yet, in what is probably the worst news of the day for Goldman basis traders, who have recently been pooling their 2011 bonus to LBO Mykonos (and pushing for a 2 for the price of 1, hoping to get Santorini on the free), Greece is stunning not interested in selling off any of its islands.

Petalotis also dismissed as “not worthy of comment” suggestions by two members of Germany’s ruling center-right coalition that Greece sell some islands to pay off its debt. Prime Minister George Papandreou is due in Berlin today for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Hopefully Turkey doesn’t go getting any ideas and realizes that it can get a five-finger (or Mig-29 as the case may be) discount, and grab these right from under Goldman’s nose.

H/t @cook503


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