Democratic Left confirms it is withdrawing from government

The overwhelming majority of officials at Democratic Left (DIMAR), the Greek government’s junior coalition partner, support party leader Fotis Kouvelis’s decision to withdraw from the tripartite coalition following a breakdown in talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and PASOK’s Evangelos Venizelos over the closure of state broadcaster ERT.

According to party sources, 19 officials agreed to the withdrawal, nine disagreed and five were undecided.

Leaving an emergency meeting on Friday morning of the party’s executive committee, Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis – who is at the heart of the effort to overhaul the civil service in line with demands from the country’s international creditors – said that he would be tendering his resignation to Samaras later in the day.

DIMAR has 14 MPs in Greece’s 300-seat Parliament. Its withdrawal from the government leaves the coalition with a slim majority of 153 seats.

Following the breakdown of talks late on Thursday, Samaras said that he plans to complete his four-year mandate with PASOK.