The last few days have not been good for the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Although he has returned from Paris following President Macron’s positive statements regarding the Turkish provocations, after recent developments in football – Mitsotakis is expected to intervene in provisions related to the championship- and the fierce reactions the government received by teams and partisans, one more “headache” has arisen.
And it has a name: Antonis Samaras. The former Prime Minister appears to be leading a “guerrilla warfare” against Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Yesterday, the controversial amendment to the related regulation was voted on in order not to implement the decision of the committee responsible, namely to not relegate PAOK FC and Xanthi FC, with the Government framing the provision as a danger against “social cohesion”.
Fearing leaks, the Prime Minister imposed party discipline, threatening to terminate the membership of any MP who did not vote on the amendment or was unjustifiably absent. 156 Members voted in favor and the absentees sent letters, except for one.
Samaras was not only absent, but for four hours no one knew of his whereabouts. His aides even rushed to make it clear to parliamentary draftsmen that no health issue had arisen. Subsequently, the Bureau of the Parliamentary Group of New Democracy announced the former Prime Minister had finally provided a notice, citing personal reasons for his absence. Maximos Mansion Headquarters communicated that they were satisfied with his explanation. Later, however, associates of A. Samaras told the Athens News Agency that “nor did he provide nor was he asked for any explanations; and he could not have been asked to provide any, really “.
Although there have been reports of people close to the Prime Minister suggesting that he proceeds with the deletion of Samaras, this did not end up happening, with Mitsotakis’ close partners communicating the incident has been resolved. In fact, however, it becomes clear that A. Samaras showed his teeth. It is recalled that he himself wished to be the proposed Commissioner by the Government, which was not the case, mainly because of his constant disagreement with the Prespa Agreement.
Subsequently, according to well-informed sources, Samaras’ corner sought to promote the former Prime Minister as President of the Hellenic Republic. The selection of Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou by K. Mitsotakis was not welcomed by A. Samaras, who was absent from the historic election process, as he was away on a family trip to the US.
The messages Samaras is conveying are not accidental. He himself is depicted as an ideological and political expression of the so-called New Patriotic wing within New Democracy, with top officials, ministers and MPs backing the former Prime Minister. Taking the floor at the New Democracy Conference, he introduced the idea of an “invasion” by criticizing the Government’s handling of the migration issue. He appeared critical of the Government in a recent interview on security, immigration and foreign policy issues.
It is recalled that he has openly opposed the appeal to the Hague regarding the Greek-Turkish relations, speaking of an “advance capitulation”. On the contrary, K. Mitsotakis keeps the option of The Hague on the table. At the same time, he remains firm in his stance against the Prespa Agreement, adhering to the doctrine: “Macedonia is one and it is Greek”.
It is worth noting that according to a large poll in Sunday’s Vima newspaper, citizens’ dissatisfaction with the way the Government has been addressing security and migration issues becomes evident, alongside concerns over national issues. With right-wing citizens adding pressure, more and more New Democracy executives are starting to believe that A. Samaras will seek to exploit the situation by exacerbating the “guerrilla warfare” against his Prime Minister. The Government now is left wondering when and under which circumstances A. Samaras will strike again. /ibna