Prime Minister George Papandreou is giving another speech in Parliament, this time before the full house (except for ND, which has withdrawn). This is part of the vote of confidence process.
His speech is full of historical references, and is essentially the same speech given two hours ago. He is claiming success for the first and second bailouts. “Show me one government that has brought such a package to Greece!” Such triumphalism is hardly warranted.
He claims that “We are holding the wheel with a steady hand.” I must have missed that part of current events in this country.
He claims that the events of today has shown that political cooperation is perhaps possible. He states that a referendum would have been the best option for gaining the commitment of the country. In fact, he’s spending a lot of time defending the referendum. Now he’s back to attacking Samaras. And now, he’s inviting Samaras to join a government of national unity.
He repeats the phrase: “We are holding the wheel with a steady hand.” I honestly don’t understand how he can say this, given everything that has happened this week, and today.
Mr. Papandreou makes no mention of the fact that he cannot win a vote of confidence without a government of national unity, as demanded by his own MPs. Yet he cannot form such a government without resigning as Prime Minister.
Forming a government of national unity seems impossible at this stage, but perhaps negotiations later tonight will help sort things out. Right now, however, his speech appears to be entirely unreal.
© Philip Ammerman, 2011