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Coalition unity to be tested by motion for 'Greeks only' military

The coalition government’s unity is set to be tested Thursday when MPs will be asked to vote on a motion put forward by about two-thirds of New Democracy lawmakers who want only those of Greek ethnicity, as defined by blood and birth, to serve in the military.

A total of 84 out of 125 conservative deputies proposed that naturalized Greeks should not be allowed to enter military academies due to national security concerns. The chief of the National Defense General Staff, Michalis Kostarakos, has backed the proposal.

However, ND’s coalition partners, PASOK and Democratic Left (DIMAR), have refused to support the motion. This means that for it to get a majority, it would need the support of nationalist party Independent Greeks and far-right Golden Dawn. Both opposition parties said they would back the proposed change to the law.

The possibility of these parties cooperating with government MPs to get the motion passed has angered PASOK and DIMAR.

“Clearly, we cannot allow New Democracy’s ideological obsessions to create an a la carte parliamentary majority of parties that do not support the government,” DIMAR’s Dimitris Chatzisokratis told Kathimerini.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has not commented on the issue.

Greece recently repealed a law allowing second-generation migrants to claim Greek citizenship after a Council of State ruling deemed it unconstitutional.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday February 27, 2013 (22:00)  
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