PASOK officials ask for PM’s resignation

Six members of PASOK’s national council drafted a letter on Tuesday afternoon demanding the resignation of Prime Minister George Papandreou, creating more discord in the ruling Socialist party.

The move came just hours after the resignation of PASOK MP Milena Apostolaki, which brought the government’s Parliamentary majority down to two votes, and a call from PASOK deputy Vasso Papandreou on President Karolos Papoulias to form a national unity government that would serve for a fixed period of time before elections are held.

Giorgos Thomas, Vangelis Malesios, Stefanos Manikas, Dimitris Batzelis, Yiannis Nikolaou and Minas Stavrakakis called Papandreou’s intention to hold a referendum over Greece’s agreement with its international creditors «irresponsible,» saying that it is leading the country into political instability and division.

“The country urgently needs a government with political legitimacy, a plan of national resurrection and significant managerial skills,» the letter, signed by the six PASOK officials, said. «The present government has none of these necessary prerequisites. The government’s policy leads to asphyxiation. Day by day, the country is experiencing conditions of dissolution, illegality and an absence of governance.”

The letter went on to say that «there can be no political way out for the country, without elections.”

“The foremost duty of any prime minister is to maintain political normalcy. The governing body appears to be clinging onto power and is even prepared to make rash moves so that it does not have to imminently face the public’s verdict.”

The six national council members continued with a scathing attack of the government’s austerity measures, saying that they «steamroll society and destroy the country’s productive fabric.”

The six party officials cited public protests at a number of parades marking the October 28 national holiday — which included groups of paraders turning their heads away from attending dignitaries, others wearing black armbands usually used as a sign of mourning, and another group blocking a military parade from taking place in Thessaloniki in the presence of Papoulias — as signs that «cast doubt over the entire existing political framework.”

“Any political convergence, any new policy and social contract, presuppose a clear popular mandate,» the letter concluded.