As predicted at The Slog’s Smoke Signals column two weeks ago, I have confirmation this morning that Antonis Samaras and other Greek luminaries are being encouraged to join him in a Centre Party that would take in the social democrat left and the great bulk of New Democracy supporters. But in an even more dramatic development, Alexis Tsipras the Syriza Leftist leader is engaging with the US presence in Greece to firm up the offer of a real alternative to the EU for Greece in the future.
After what he describes as “the great adventure of the measures”, New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras has made it clear to associates that he is ready to take the initiative in developing “a great European centre-right party”, having already made several soundings among senior MPs in Greece. As of now, I’m told, “it appears as an advantage to coordinate course and the harmonious coexistence of all the Parties close to Mr. Samaras’s axis of influence”.
The PASOK Health & Social Solidarity Minister Andreas Loverdos says in private that he is ready to be a star in this new firmament, which he describes as having a “European social democratic shape”….that is, something not too far from the old UK alliance between the SDP and the Liberals.
The two men are stressing their patriotic credentials at this stage, proclaiming the move as an historic step to keep Syriza and Golden Dawn at bay….both of whom are still forging ahead in the polls. But in reality, the move has been forced on them by the collapse of PASOK – now on a risible 4% level of support – and the desertion of third Coalition partner the Democratic Left.
However, in a totally unexpected strategic masterstroke, Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras is reportedly in close touch with US diplomatic contacts based in the region. Described by one source as having already been “active in persuading major business and municipal leaders and other key players of economic life here that he can pass through the gate of governance”, it now seems clear that Mr Tsipras wants to embrace the Americans, as he believes the Americans offer his country the best security blanket. The Slog has posted several times on the subject of American eagerness to befriend Athens, but traditionally the US has been a pariah State among the Greek Left.
Despite such history, another source confirms that, “Tsipras is getting guidance from US centres here. Papandreou opened a window for the Americans to the EU, but Tsipras could open the door of the Palace.”
Interestingly, Yannis Stournaras the Greek Finance Minister also has close links to senior American geopolitical players. And in recent months, Greece has moved closer to Israel and Cyprus as a bulwark against Turkey. But as a base against Islamism and easy access to deal with interruptions in oil supply, both the Pentagon and the Fed Reserve see Greece as an ideal partner to befriend in its hour of need. The Russian presence in Cyprus has also worried geopoliticians in the Obama Administration.
I have been saying for months that undersea energy and minerals could well dictate the course Greece takes in the end. These latest internal political moves have suddenly made that a more telling consideration.
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