Samaras aides say no snap polls, but PASOK is wobbling

As the dust settled from two tense votes in Parliament on Monday, sources close to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras insisted that the departure of yet another MP, Vyron Polydoras of New Democracy, from the government ranks would not precipitate early elections.

“The elections will happen in 2016,” said the premier’s aides, dismissing speculation that the government would not last much longer without going to the polls. Polydoras’s departure after voting against the unified property tax leaves the coalition with just a three-seat parliamentary majority. But officials close to Samaras said the situation might easily take a turn for the better.

There is, however, concern in the prime minister’s office about PASOK’s future. Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos fended off criticism at a meeting of the party’s central political committee on Sunday but it is clear that there is unrest within the junior coalition partner.

Venizelos proposed holding a joint conference at the end of June with the 58 figures who have launched a new center-left movement in a bid to draw up joint tickets for the European Parliament elections in May.

The PASOK leader said he was committed to changing “old-style party practices” but did not give more details.

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