Independent Greeks MP says party chief Kammenos lied over coalition note

An Independent Greeks MP has accused party leader Panos Kammenos of lying over a document in which he proposed joining a coalition government after elections in May only as long as he was made defense minister.

Yiannis Manolis, a unionist who quit New Democracy to join Kammenos’s right-wing anti-austerity party, told Skai radio on Tuesday that the Independent Greeks leader had submitted such a document to President Karolos Papoulias despite his claims that the note had been forged and that he would take legal action over the incident.

“Kammenos gave the non-paper so he could secure the position of defense minister,” said Manolis. “His first mistake was to give the document, his second was to make the President out to be a liar.”

The allegation by Manolis led to Kammenos ousting him from the party on Tuesday morning.

Kammenos claimed at the time that the document forwarded by Papoulias’ office to other party leaders during the process of exploratory talks aimed at setting up a government had not been drafted by him.

The document, apparently originating from the office of Independent Greeks, stated that the party would support a unity government if it were matter of “national urgency.”

The proposal was also reported to have said that Kammenos would agree to supporting a unity government on the condition that Independent Greeks be given the Defense Ministry among other posts, including positions on the board of any public company that would be responsible for managing Greece’s hydrocarbon resources.

Kammenos had threatened to take legal action after claiming the document had been forged or had been submitted by associates without his knowledge.

Manolis also labelled Kammenos a “coward” for allegedly walking out on the party’s 20 MPs during a meeting on Monday.

“He doesn’t talk to anyone and he’s always talking about SYRIZA,” said Manolis. “It’s like he’s telling voters to support SYRIZA when there is a chasm that separates the two parties.”

Manolis accused Kammenos of constantly changing his positions and not consulting with anyone in the party.

Several of the party’s MPs were angry about Kammenos’s behavior on Monday but it is not clear if this will lead to them quitting the party, which was founded by its leader in February and won 7.5 percent of the vote in the June elections, which made it Greece’s fourth largest party.

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