Samaras, Venizelos meet to discuss Baltakos affair [Update]

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and deputy premier Evangelos Venizelos met on Friday morning to evaluate the political fallout from a secretly-filmed video featuring former cabinet secretary Panayiotis Baltakos suggesting that the government tried to influence a judicial probe into the neofascist Golden Dawn.

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Venizelos admitted that there were differences that divided the two parties in the coalition but said its chief goal and "national duty" was to safeguard stability.

According to sources, the coalition partners discussed the best course of action in view of threats by Golden Dawn MPs that there are more potentially damaging videos that may be released in the coming days and the admission by Baltakos himself that he had other meetings with GD officials that may have been recorded.

Samaras is under growing pressure from the political opposition but also from members of the coalition's junior partner, PASOK, over the affair. PASOK's secretary, Nikos Androulakis, said the socialist party "cannot stay with people like Baltakos in the government," implying that other conservative cadres should be ejected.

New Democracy Euro MP, Marietta Giannakou, said the Baltakos issue "was a government affair." "It cannot harm New Democracy, either ideologically or politically," Giannakou told Skai radio on Friday.