Wednesday

22nd Nov 2017

Samaras and Barroso show solidarity on 'anti-EU' parties

Greek PM Antonis Samaras and European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso have showed solidarity against what Samaras calls his "anti-EU" political enemies.

Speaking at a launch ceremony for the Greek EU presidency on Wednesday (8 January), Samaras dubbed the left-wing Syriza opposition party as "anti-EU, anti-Nato, and anti-Western."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The Syriza party is 'anti-EU and anti-Western' Samaras said (Photo: John D. Carnessiotis, Athens, Greece)

He promised there will be no snap national elections in Greece before the next sheduled vote, in 2016, despite the waning popularity of his ruling coalition.

Barroso, at the same event, said he is "sure that the pro-European forces will win the European elections" in May this year.

He also dismissed as "prejudice" suggestions that Samaras' government is not up to handling the EU presidency because of the economic mess in Greece.

He was echoed by deputy PM Evangelos Venizelos, who told reporters that "we are, from an institutional point of view, up to par."

For his part, Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras boycotted the EU presidency ceremony in protest at the government's priorities for its six months at the EU helm.

Greece is hoping to exit its €240 billion bailout programme this year.

But Tsipras says the terms of the loan package are failing ordinary Greeks and wants to remodel the Greek economy around a public works programme.

Syriza is also nosing ahead of New Democracy in opinion polls.

It scored 22 percent in one recent survey by pollsters Pulse, compared to Samaras' centre-right New Democracy party on 20 percent and its junior coalition partner, the centre-left Pasok party, on 5 percent.

The voters' mood has led to speculation the coalition could unravel.

Meanwhile, another recent poll said that Barroso, and EU officials more broadly, have an approval rating of just 19 percent in Greece - the lowest in any EU country.

Samaras on Wednesday conceded that the patience of Greek people has been tested by the economic crisis.

"I understand that people are angry about their suffering from the extreme austerity they have had to go through," he said.

Turning to the European Parliament election in May, he added that Greek voters "will need to decide if they want Europe or not."

Greece is also among several EU countries which are likely to see a surge in support for far-right parties in May.

Samaras said the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has "nothing to do with democracy."

The group has been linked to organised violence against migrants.

One of its members, a former commando, famously attacked an MP from a rival left-wing party on live TV in 2012, slapping her in the face three times.

But it is polling in third place, on 11 percent, raising the prospect of Golden Dawn MEPs in the corridors of the next EU parliament in Brussels.

Approval of EU leadership lowest in Greece

Approval of EU leadership was lowest in bailed-out Greece in 2013 while Spain saw a 32 percentage point drop in support between the 2008 and 2013, a fresh Gallup poll showed.

Analysis

EU 'cannot afford' lengthy German deadlock

Angela Merkel's failure to form a coalition government has raised concerns in Europe that the EU's most powerful country will send the block into paralysis.

MEPs put 'Article 7' against Poland on launch pad

MEPs urged Poland to comply with the EU treaties and to halt the 'reform' of the judiciary that could further undermine the rule of law in the country. Polish PM Beata Szydlo called the vote 'outrageous'.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  2. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  3. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  4. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  5. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  6. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  7. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  8. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  9. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  11. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  12. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'

Latest News

  1. 1.3 million European citizens in call for glyphosate ban
  2. EU 'cannot afford' lengthy German deadlock
  3. David Miliband: EU should take over 500,000 refugees
  4. EU bans 'geo-blocking' - but not (yet) for audiovisual
  5. EU monitoring of Libyan coastguard done by Libyans
  6. Greek opposition leader promises end to 'surreal' era
  7. Refugee case could topple Slovenia government
  8. Leak: EU states weaken post-Dieselgate testing