Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos lashed out Tuesday at “Trojan horses” in his right-wing party after two of its highest-profile members were ousted as a dispute that threatens to derail the party intensified.
Party spokesman Christos Zois and unionist Yiannis Manolis were expelled from the party after criticizing Kammenos and his style of leadership. Both politicians joined the party after leaving New Democracy. Kammenos labeled them “Trojan horses who infiltrated the party to make it a subsidiary of New Democracy.”
Earlier Manolis had accused Kammenos of lying about a document submitted to President Karolos Papoulias after elections in May, which set out the conditions under which Independent Greeks would join a coalition government. These included Kammenos being made defense minister. The party leader denies sending the document but Manolis insisted that he did.
Another cause of friction within the party was Kammenos’s recent proposal that his party’s 20 MPs and SYRIZA lawmakers should resign to provoke new elections and prevent the latest austerity package from passing through Parliament. Constitutional experts said there was no basis for such a claim.
Independent Greeks deputies have also expressed frustration with Kammenos’s regular overtures to SYRIZA. It is thought some party MPs are poised to quit.