The government seems to have been delighted by the outcome of the parliamentary votes on which articles of the Greek Constitution will be amended after the next general election.
It appeared with a triumphant air of artificial euphoria in an effort to once again to skew reality.
The reality is that a number of SYRIZA MPs voted down the government’s proposed amendment of Article 3 of the Constitution (which deals with church-state relations) to include a declaration of the state’s religious neutrality, which garnered a majority anyway.
The second blow was the rejection of SYRIZA’s proposal that the President of the Republic be elected by popular vote if there is a deadlock in Parliament because no candidate garners the requisite majority in successive votes.
The government may try to brush that aside, but it is clear that there is a lack of cohesion in the ruling party’s parliamentary group. That means that the six non-SYRIZA MPs who have unconditionally agreed to support the government in passing all draft legislation, thus ensuring its parliamentary majority, may not be enough to cement that majority, which will from now on depend on the choices of Mr. Tsipras’ own MPs.
The ruling party is beginning to pay the price that other parties paid when SYRIZA in order toremain in power recruited renegade MPs from the Independent Greeks (which until then was SYRIZA’s junior coalition partner) and To Potami.
In this manner, it encouraged a mentality of loose party loyalty. Now it is being paid back with the same coin.