The prime minister’s office has been rocked by recent events – opinion surveys that show a dramatic decline in SYRIZA’s support, an abortive effort to persuade former Independent Greeks MP Yorgos Lazaridis not to leave the party, and rumours that more MPs may flee the PM’s junior coalition partner.
Yesterday afternoon, the entire communications machine of the government and top ministers were mobilised in order to denounce alleged destabilisation plots and to speak of apostates that are under the thumb of businessmen, the oligarchy, and New Democracy.
SYRIZA chose to cultivate polarisation, and to raise the spectre of visible and unseen opponents, in an effort to escape reality.
According to sources of in.gr, there will be at least one poll in the coming days that will blow SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks out of the water.
Public opinion is expressing rage in the surveys over a combination of issues – the terms of the FYROM naming accord, national issues more generally, and the humiliations in the economy over the last eight years.
The upcoming polls shows that New Democracy has expanded its lead over SYRIZA to over 10 percentage points, and that ND is at the cusp of being able to form a one-party government.
The same polls show a collapse of SYRIZA and a loss of a large segment of its 2015 voters. The support base has dropped dramatically in northern Greece due to the FYROM agreement.
The news is much worse for the Independent Greeks, who have been swept off the electoral map, with less than one percentage point in popular support.
Protest incidents in various parts of the country, the verbal attack against Alexis Tsipras in London, and the sense of betrayal by Independent Greeks MPs who decided to save the government in the no confidence vote but who said they will vote down the FYROM agreement, all contributed to the ruling coalition’s collapse in the polls.
Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos tried to convince Lazaridis to stay on, but to no avail.
Hence, when the government was left with a slim, two-seat parliamentary majority, the PM’s office began a communications counter-offensive.
It leaked that certain MPs are veering towards joining SYRIZA’s parliamentary group.
It also maintained that there is a conspiracy to topple the government, which was allegedly hatched in Piraeus and Thessaloniki.
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias spoke of a buying off of consciences with the money of oligarchs and by people who have a tradition of apostasies, referring to the family of New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.