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The day of reckoning

samaras dimasEarly Wednesday evening the first of three scheduled elections for the new President of the Republic will be held at the Greek Parliament.

The government’s candidate Mr Stavros Dimas is expected not to gather the necessary 180 votes, at least not on round one. And this is of course where things start to become interesting. It is certain that the political minds in charge of handling this situation in all camps simply do not reflect the myriad of scenarios that are flying around both within and outside Greece.!

It is considered that the first round will be used as an indicator to gauge the overall reaction to Mr Dimas’ candidature. Foreign news outlets are hinting that the Prime Minister has an ace up his sleeve – but he will not use it until round three, which is the decisive one after all. We are not sure whether that ace is a new candidate for round three or the assurance of extra votes to push Mr Dimas over the finish line.

We have been speculating for weeks regarding what other names could possibly be put forward and ex-Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, Ms Maria Damanaki’s name keeps coming up again and again. The interesting thing about Ms Damanaki’s candidature would be that the left-wing parties would find it very difficult to vote against her. Her true-blue left-wing credentials, her participation in the anti-junta movement of the early 1970’s and her years as SYRIZA leader certainly provide her with the necessary ‘appeal’. Why didn’t Mr Samaras put her name forward to begin with? The answer to that question is probably a simple one, to avoid any unnecessary over-analysis and deconstruction of his new choice.

Whether the government will change candidates in the final round on December 29th will not be clarified yet, however, Mr Dimas is already appearing to be gaining momentum. Independent, non-affiliated Members of Parliament are slowly declaring their allegiance and in a surprising move with Mr Kouvelis decided to ‘tolerate’ differences of opinion among his MP’s – stating that whoever decides to vote for Mr Dimas (and go against the party line) will not be automatically struck off.

So all heads once again are turned to Parliament, where its Members are called upon to shut their ears to the voices from Germany, or France or the US and instead turn their attention to the streets of the Greek cities for inspiration.

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